What To Do When You Find Yourself Caring About the School Board Race

Go Vote, duh.
That would be today, if you’re a fellow resident of the good ole U.S. of A.

Voting always makes me sort of thoughtful and has triggered blog posts more than once. Today felt like one of the more important mid-term elections for me, not so much because Virginia has a Senate race going on, or the usual House race, but because of local stuff. Really local stuff, like county board and school board and local bond issues that might affect whether my daughter gets to attend Kindergarten in a school building or a trailer.

That sort of stuff.

The past 6-8 weeks or so have been an interesting flurry of activity on the local school board level. I actually wrote a letter to the board for the first time ever, because there are local school issues that feel hugely pressing and vital for at least one of my kids. And I feel mildly guilty that I wasn’t as engaged when the older one was starting school, but honestly, we were just so happy to find a house in a good district with great neighborhood amenities, that the rest sort of washed over me.

Don’t get me wrong – I always vote. Well, I always vote in the midterms and for governor (Virginia has this weird off-year schedule for that which gets annoying). I even voted in the special election for county board last spring. Perhaps this is part of being an adult with a sense of roots somewhere. I confess I sometimes skip the local primaries.

And I took my daughter with me today and she had a million questions. What was the building? What were we doing? What does it mean to vote? I broke it down using her classroom – it’s like if you got to pick your teachers and you could choose the one you thought did the best job. She was fascinated and patient and happy to press the flashy red button for me at the end, just as I remember getting on my tippy toes in a flag draped booth and pulling a lever for my mother.

We have great staffers at our polling place who are always super nice and accommodating to kids. They have “Future Voter” stickers and bend down to chat with the littles. We walked in the door and first thing, a teen volunteer wearing a kitty hat bent down and told my daughter how much she loved her owl hat. We’re good people in these parts, and it’s nice to have those reminders that, at least on the local level, no matter who we press the buttons for today or any other day, we’re still all in this together trying to do the best we can.

Feature image adapted from an image by Flickr user Aaron Webb.

Emily Sexton

Writer of incomplete novels, entertainment lawyer, mom of two with a wide age spread, blogger here and elsewhere, wannabe vocalist and v/o actress, atheist, weirdo. That last bit went without saying. Find Em on twitter @emandink and maybe she'll use it more.

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