One day I’ll tell my daughter about this morning, when we walked hand in hand out of the voter registration office and she asked: Where’s the boat? Are we going to get on the boat?
No, baby girl, we’re going to vote. And we just did. We voted. For Barack Obama for President of the United States.
For two hours we waited in the early voting line. Although the sun was bright, it was windy and cold in the shade outside. My daughter ate pretzels and juice, chatted until she fell asleep on my shoulder, then curled up in her stroller as we inched toward the voting booth.
I had expected tears and celebration from the folks waiting in the long line. Or a “fist bump” maybe? Instead, it was quiet smiles and friendly nods from the other black voters (and white ones too). Some wore their Obama buttons until they came within sight of the poll workers. Waiting behind me were a middle-aged library clerk and a college student who was voting in the presidential election for the first time. In front, I noticed quite a few black veterans and soldiers in uniform, executives on their cell phones, and lots of elderly women – including the one who stopped to peer up and down the waiting line and laughing, raised her hands to say, “blessings to you, blessings to all of you!”
What mattered most to me, though, was that I held my daughter’s hand and together we cast a ballot for Obama. And she smacked that blinking VOTE button at the top of the touch screen not just for me, but for her great grandmothers who stand with us in spirit. It doesn’t matter that we live in a ridiculously red state (South Carolina). Today I felt proud, grateful, and oddly enough – relieved. No matter what happens, we did it, baby girl. We got on the boat.
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