Today I packed all four kids up on this beautiful fall morning to head to the polls. We talked about each group of nominees and why I’m bubbling in which box. My children and I disagree about many issues. They did agree with me about the bubbles I made today. Then we all went and entered my ballot together waiting for the “Your Vote has been cast!” screen.

During the next presidential election both Arleigh and Hanan will be old enough to vote. (Sigh.) Today I told them that all candidates are humans and humans make mistakes. Each of the major presidential candidates have made some giant ones. We sat down and went through a list policies and issues. I have no idea if these candidates will stand by their platforms and I told my children that. I told them about sitting in a class arguing with a classmate about Jimmy Carter when I must’ve just been repeating my parents. I told them that there was a time when my mother and I didn’t agree on the issues. I’m embarrassed that this is the best that we as a country could do. I told them the best I could do in this election is cast my votes based on the issues. That’s what I did because I couldn’t vote for a candidate.

My vote today did not follow a party line. I pointed that out to my kids. I explained why it didn’t. I prayed about this. Our government is in trouble. I’m sure people have randomly thought that at different times since 1776. It just seems like we are pushing out values away…but that’s not the soapbox I’m looking for today.

It was a beautiful day. Everyone waiting in line was pleasant. People cheered when a brand new registered voter checked in. I accepted information from different parties. Everyone congratulated other voters. This is the part of democracy that I want my children to witness. Today for a minute we’re all participating together in our democracy. We are all one great nation. My kids saw it.

And now…the obligatory “We voted!” selfie…

And on to the results. God help us all!