Only the fourth time I've had the opportunity to vote for president, that is. That makes me feel pretty young, because when MJ and I were talking we determined that there will be four more presidential elections until she can vote. I started running through past presidential elections in my mind.
2000: I remember sitting in my tiny dorm room, watching my tiny TV that we bought at Best Buy and transported via T for an hour to get it back to our room. I remember staying up much too late watching results roll in, and watching Dan Rather get loopy as the the tallies went into the wee hours. I figured if I went to bed the election results would be figured out by the morning. As many of you remember, that wasn't true. That was the election that just drug on and on. I even had the opportunity (curse?) to attend G-Dub's inauguration in January 2001, because my Dad was living in DC at the time. Memorable, at the very least.
2004: A friend and I (the only other Democrat I found while deployed to Bosnia) went to a party hosted by the Dems Abroad in downtown Sarajevo. We brought cheez whiz and oreos (the most American food we could find) and stayed up all night to watch results roll in. I returned to base in the early hours and got a couple hours of sleep before starting work for the day.
2008: We had been in Minnesota for one year. We went to a party at our friend's house, ate good food and watched results late into the night. Children? Not yet a consideration. MJ was not in the picture yet (though it wasn't long after...).
2012: Despite having had a no screen time rule this week, we switched on the TV tonight to watch the returns roll in. We brought MJ and Greta to vote with us this morning. One of the most remarkable things to me was when it became clear that MJ vaguely remembers the last time I voted with her, 2 years ago! She kept demanding to walk to the polling place, and I kept saying it wasn't going to happen. Then she said "Last time we walked!", which we did. How could she remember that? She was a little older than one! I guess taking your children to vote really does leave an impression.
So I sit here with my glass of wine, children sleeping, so happy to see results come in as I had hoped. Thankful that I won't feel compelled to stay up far past my bedtime to get an idea of the future that awaits us tomorrow. Thankful for the future elections I get to watch with my children, regardless of whether they agree with me.
P.S. I have big news to share with you. A big project I've been working on. I'm excited to share it with you. I'm not good at keeping secrets, I don't think it'll be long.