You spend eighteen or more years teaching them and hope it sunk in….

Our Army son still has a lot of mail that comes here.  Since most of the important stuff can be accessed online, we send it to him in periodic batches, unless there is something he needs right away, and sometimes that means we have to open it to find out, and then text or call him about it.

Yesterday both our son’s got their voter registration forms in the mail.  The younger son still living at home, picked his up from the spot on the table where we leave mail and I haven’t checked, but hopefully he has a plan for submitting it or went online and took care of it.  I sent off a text to Army son just letting him know he got a notice and  giving the U.R.L. for the site to register and request his absentee ballot.  Late last night (six hour time difference) he texted to let me know he took care of that, and said he is probably going to vote for Johnson.

One thing we tried to do with our kids was to teach them to think.  Not what to think, but how to think for themselves.

My response when he said he was probably going to vote for Johnson, was “yeah?” and he responded “yeah”.  That is about the extent of most commentary from him.  But once in a while, he surprises me with proof that a lot more goes on in that head of his than he ever reveals.  The first time that happened he was in middle school.  I went on to say “That will help Hillary win. No Dems will vote for Johnson, but conservatives will and that will split the conservative vote and leave Hillary with a majority.  (It’s not that clear-cut, but the principle stands.  I don’t know how much he knows about the electoral college.  I should ask, him that!).  Anyway, sometimes there is a delay between responses, and as it was late, I actually got so sleepy and forgot I was waiting for one, and went to bed.  Of course as soon as I got comfortable, I remembered.  I debated whether to leave it until morning, but a mother is always hopeful of a conversation that consists of more than grunts and single syllables from her sons, so I got out of bed to see if there was a reply text.  There was, and I was very glad I got up to check because here was his response:

“I agree with that, but if all the people who thought like that voted 3rd party, imagine how much better his odds would be.  I think voting Libertarian is the only way you can send any kind of message  that says you don’t approve of what the government is doing.  Even when big party wins, they still see what their opponents numbers were, and if more people voted Libertarian then the next candidates would be forced to shift toward the Libertarian side of things.  If people keep voting for D or R, then they are supporting the sustainment  and growth of big government and voting Libertarian is the only way to send the message that you don’t approve of it.

It may not change the outcome of the election but in the bigger picture every libertarian vote helps move policy in a small government direction.”

Whether he is seeing all he needs to see and considering all there is to consider, I can’t know, but that definitely shows he has put some real consideration into this election and is keeping informed.

I told him I was proud of his impressive answer, and went to bed with an elusive feeling rarely experienced in the role of parenthood, that sense of having gotten through!  Don’t get me wrong.  My husband and I don’t subscribe to the notion of being the sole architects of who are kids become, but rather took to the privileged task with fear and trembling, and counting on God to make up the difference for our vast deficits.

As parents we do have an obligation to facilitate the best atmosphere for building good character and instilling values and good morality in our kids, knowing the influences they are subjected to, guarding against deception and indoctrination, but as Christain parents, we have to also keep in mind that above our pay grade, there is God! He, too is looking out for them and has goals and plans for them we don’t know about and may not even have “approved of” if He had deigned to ask our opinion.  We “gave them back to the Lord” when we got them”, as many Christian parents do. We pray, we talk, we discipline and correct, we teach, we “incubate”, and then one day, it’s time for the birdie to fly.  When that day comes, we have to recalibrate.  We have to accept we will have a different role from that point.  And we have to get busy learning how to best serve our adult kids as a source of guidance and wisdom when asked, having hopefully cultivated that open communication for years already, to where they value our input.  Even when you do everything “right” sometimes a kid has an intrinsic need to go out there and learn everything the hard way, in spite of your input.

And that’s what duct tape is for!



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