It was a sunny Thanksgiving Sunday when I took my two boys to an advance voting polling station to help their mom vote.
It was a word that both my boys were unfamiliar with and one that we spent a heck of a long time talking about as we stood in line waiting for a poll to open for me.
First question: "what's a boat?" That took at least 15 minutes of our time.
Me: "The word is V-ote"
4 year old: "Ok, B-oat"
Me: "NO, it's with a V. VVVVVVVote"
4 year old: "Like we ride in to go to the cottage? Boat?I'm right mommy. It's boat. We is going to boat."
Then we finally got to the meat and potatoes of what I wanted to talk to them about:
Why do we vote?
Why do we care?
Why is it important?
What is a government and who is in it?
Why can't we vote yet ?(that was my 4 year old's question and he was very incensed that he had to wait until he was 18 years old to "colour in da paper with da words")
Considering that we had a pretty significant wait in line, it was a good opportunity to really talk about what democracy is and why it is so important for us to actively participate in it.
I told them about countries where people do not have the right to choice. They asked questions, helped me hand the election officials my ID, watched me fill out my ballot, and then saw me put my vote in the ballot box.
I'm not really sure how much they understood but I'm glad I got the chance to take them with me as I cast my ballot and talk to them about how important it is to protect and respect our freedom. I hope they never know a Canada that doesn't have the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. I really hope they are able to walk through a door just like we did on a sunny Thanksgiving Sunday and cast a ballot without fear.