Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting Pencil

I guess he wanted to impart some wisdom for my day.
"Vote..." he paused, searching for an adverb appropriate to the action of voting. 
"Vote hard." He grinned, then walked out the door to his frosty morning commute of two minutes.

Hard? Vote hard? I was planning on voting anyway, but how do I vote hard?

Maybe he realizes how difficult it is to manage the polls with children in tow.  I pretend that it is a learning opportunity.  For the people watching, anyway.
So [most of] the children and I went to cast my ballet at the local K. of C. hall, but I stopped just in time and cast my ballot instead.  That would have been awkward had I arrived in a tutu, not remembering the difference one vowel can make.

It turned out that it wasn't hard to vote, I missed the rush and only met relatives.  [Small town.]  My only concern was keeping my second child from reading my selections aloud in his extremely loud stage whisper.

You know what I love about voting? The feeling of control. Plus, I've always been a sucker for stickers. The stickers last longer, but both are quite intoxicating for a brief moment.  Who doesn't love to be in control? Even if it is just control over one tiny vote.

I am not in control of much these days, which is an unsettling truth.  I was hoping that homeschooling would be a minor lifestyle change for us, but it is major.  And really, although I get to pick out the curriculum, set the schedule, plan and teach the lessons, (as well as serve the lunch!) I'm finding that I really am not in control.  Not in control of my children, not in control of the weather, not in control of... well, anything beyond my own thoughts and emotions. 

Ok. I'm not in control of my thoughts and emotions much either. ;)

Folks, I'm learning to write in pencil when I've always preferred ink.  There is something so permanent, so authoritarian about ink.  But scratch-out marks are so much more distracting and ugly than eraser smudges. 

There's something profound about this, and I ruminate over my writing instrument, my planning tool.  In every situation, I continue to plan, choose, decide.  But, I'm trying to decide in pencil rather than pen.  Ultimately, I don't wield any control and I had better keep myself flexible in my plans, choices and decisions.  I'm casting a vote, but God picks the winner.