Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Politics

Yesterday I was driving to meet Adam for lunch (one of the two reasons I love Mondays--that and we hear from Braeden). On NPR they were talking about the election and Utah Mormon voters.  I've never felt so politically understood from a radio program in my life.  They were talking about all the ways that Utah Mormon voters find Donald Trump repugnant (yes, yes and YES!) and then talked about Evan McMullin and his politics and again I was agreeing with everything they said.   From what they were saying, he is the same blend of conservative and moderate that I am.  For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have a candidate I can support and not just one I hate less.

So that feels good.

*****

Sunday Emma asked me a disarming question.  She asked, "Are you satisfied with our relationship?"

Emma's been catching me off guard ever since she was born and the doctors didn't have time to give me an epidural.

I told her that I was satisfied.  Because I am.  My relationship with my boys is easy and uncomplicated.  We can tease each other out of most any bad mood.  They love hugs and food and I am pretty good at dispensing either of those.

Emma is different.  My relationship with her is easy like Sunday morning.  If you're a Mormon woman, you know that isn't usually easy.   Sundays are ultimately rewarding though and so is Emma.  I have to work harder, weigh my words more carefully and choose the right times and places to delve deep into her life.  Or try to.  She's worth it though.

So we started talking about our relationship and the ways we are similar.  She said, "We disagree on politics though."

Of course that resulted in a full scale political discussion between the four of us.  Adam and I have always challenged our children's political views up and down.  We don't want them to live in an echo chamber.  I care less about my children's political views than I do that they have thought about them thoroughly and can defend them.

We used to have similar conversations with Braeden.  He'd get invigorated by the debate and enthusiastically defend his positions.  Emma sat and listened to us.  She intelligently takes everything in and doesn't take offense and is probably silently correcting our grammar.

Having children is just so interesting.  And the older they get the more fascinating they are to me.  They are unique and similar and like us and vastly different from us.

The other night Adam and I were talking about our kids.  We decided that despite the many many ways Emma and I are alike, when the rubber hits the road, it's really Adam who can talk her into things, not me.  And Braeden and Adam have a lot in common, but I can reach him more easily sometimes.  (Except the Dad Voice.  No one can resist that.)

"What about Mark?" I asked

And who knows really.  He's his own person.  Sometimes we need to outsource with that kid.  For example, his voice teacher was able to steer him into a different direction for his audition piece when Adam and I were not.  Emma can talk him into things that I never would be able to and then there's Braeden.

He feels like the last hope sometimes.

Adam made a request and yesterday Braeden wrote Mark some encouragement in that direction.  I also had enlisted his help with Mark.  Braeden wrote back this:

I keep getting requests for what to write him about.  He is gonna get wise :)  Maybe I will.  I'll try to make it casual.  How do you whistle innocently over email?

So there are politics happening all around.  Whether in the country as a whole or just in our family, everyone is vying for power and influence.  I'm just glad I have these four.  They help me talk each other into stuff.  They buoy me and make me feel understood. 

It's like listening to the radio talk about why Utah Mormons aren't voting for Donald Trump.


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