Rainbows and Presidents

I’m excited about our new Wednesday challenge to share an image from our respective lives. These are interesting days and I have a lot to learn about Hong Kong and how place influences the way that Anna parents. A picture conjures up questions and comments where words fail to.

I plugged in the camera USB to my computer and was prompted to name the photo group. Okay, let’s keep it simple and non-fiction and go with “Rainbows and Presidents.”

The kids and I have seen a few extraordinary rainbows lately, and I managed to catch one on the camera as it was waning into non-existence. This lead to this week’s home study on  rainbows and colors – essentially picking apart why rainbows happen. And it got me thinking about my dull-hued rainbow. Logically, I know that it is a phenomenon caused when water droplets bend the rays of light into a spectrum. But I still get entranced by the magic of one each and every time I see one. It is as much magic and wonder as it is science.

And then today there’s this little event happening in this part of the world called the United States Election. I found my local ballot drop-box so I could join the leagues of late voters. Washington has a postal voting system, so I took the kids to the mobile location where votes could be submitted in official boxes without the votes ever having entered the mail system. I have been rather detached from election coverage – we don’t have a television, I was preoccupied thinking of loved ones caught in the path of Hurricane Sandy, and honestly, I grow weary of all the mud-slinging.

You see, even the staunchest Obama supporters I know do not agree with all of his policies or decisions that he has made in the last four years. His presidency been much like the picture of my fading rainbow – still imbued with that magic but not always consistently vibrant and inspiring. We were seeing his light being bent by a political system too strong for him to tackle head on.

But walking up to the ballot box with my two small children, I was taken back four+ years ago when my newlywed husband and I attended the primaries. We had this rare opportunity to connect with neighbors (we never saw on a daily basis) about deep-seeded values and the possibility that a man with a vision could put a spark of hope in our hearts. I was pregnant and promptly vomited in a cement planter on the way out of the elementary school library. But it was glorious! Here was someone who was speaking to me and to America not just about national greatness but personal greatness. And I was (and still am) pretty big on the thought of creating a better world for this growing child in my belly.

By time November 2008 rolled around, I had a newborn in my arms. My daughter and I walked to the polling station and reveled in the energy. The optimism.

I felt it again as these two little beings under my love and care carried our votes to the ballot box. I voted for my children and the idea that they can have the liberties and freedoms to be who they are. And also to be under the leadership of someone who won’t stop trying to manifest his vision of a more just and equal society. I want my kids to always hold the same hope in their own hearts.


About unapologetictasha

I love the struggles and joys of things; what I learn about parenting, I learn about life. I am a stay-at-home vegan mom who has a strict regimen of daily in-house dance parties. My kids and I love art, nature, and books.
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2 Responses to Rainbows and Presidents

  1. mommyhoodhk says:

    So much has happened over there! What do you think of today’s election results?

  2. I am amazed. While watching the national results tally up, it felt like it was a close call. The kids grew tired of listening to politicos, so we went to bed and read books about rainbows. 😉 An hour later, I came out and Obama had been declared the winner. Perhaps my empathy levels have changed since becoming a parent because I started to feel bad for Mitt. I personally didn’t want him to become the next president, but I understand how it feels to put everything into something and have it fail. (Ahem, kind of like when your child has an emotional moment and says that they don’t like you.)

    I am inspired by all the chatter I was seeing on Facebook. Friends were posting every couple of minutes about results. A friend in London, England fell asleep with a radio under her arm so she could hear the results in the middle of the night. Even more profound was a post: “My Pledge, Election Day, 2012: If you know me, you know I want Obama to win. For many many reasons, which I won’t list here because it is beside the point. Right now, today, I pledge that no matter who wins today’s election, I will continue to be kind, compassionate, and reasonable. I will not name call and I will not foment conspiracy theories. Even if “my guy” doesn’t win the election, we are all still in this together, it won’t be the end of the world, and I plan to act decently no matter what.”

    Last night was a historic leap for women and human rights in the United States. Five female Senators were voted in, including Warren and McCaskill who were up against male candidates who had been quoted saying less-than-progressive things about women, their bodies, and violence. Maine, Maryland, and my state of Washington accepted same-sex marriages! These were two really important things on the ballot for me. I want my children to see powerful female role models in all arenas, as much as I want to secure the rights of anyone who wishes to formalize their partnership.

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