Thursday, June 12, 2008

Building, art and the electoral process

Last Saturday we had a big day. I brought my kids to Home Depot so they could build their monthly kids' project with wood. They made a sailboat; it was cute and was pretty easy. I remember when I first started bringing my daughter; she was so little. Even the boys have gotten so big. They are getting better at doing the projects--I think I have finally gotten them to stop pounding when the nails bend. They have even gotten better at reading the directions. It has been awhile since I brought them down there--seems like there is always something to divert us that particular day.

Afterwards, I remembered that the Rochester Art Center was also having a kids' project. This month they made volcanoes with paper cups and tin foil. Then they "erupted" it with diluted tempera paint, vinegar and baking soda. It was fun and we were able to discuss basic chemistry. Since we had to wait between Home Depot and the Art Center, we had walked over to the Mayo Civic Center, which is attached to the Art Center.

Rather, the Art Center is attached to the Civic Center. I had been unaware that they were holding the Minnesota state DFL convention. At first, I was reluctant to go in. I had become disillusioned with our politicians when they failed to help my family when we asked for it during my husband's enlistment. I am a firm believer that things happened for a reason; I wasn't happy about it, but my daughter's excitement made me realize that there was a learning opportunity there. We stayed. I am happy I did. We got to listen to Al Franken speak--I was really energized. I realized how much my daughter's excitement reminded me of how I used to feel. I doubt I will ever lose the touch of cynicism, but at least I have lost the hopelessness and remember that we can fire our leaders when they fail us. It is a great feeling to know that.

My daughter would really like to volunteer at some campaigns. I think I would like to do that just to help my kids realize that we all have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to be aware and vote. There are times that doing so much with my kids can wear me out, but there are other times that I am grateful to have such a motivating force in my life.

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