Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Because It's Election Day...
I distinctly remember a time I overheard Lilly playing with her dolls. She was three-years-old and just discovering the wonders of "pretend play." I could hear her tiny voice--quiet and sweet--playing the parts of both the mommy doll and the daddy doll:
"Alright baby, it's time for your nap."
"Let's put you in your crib."
I peeked into her room and saw her gingerly lay the plastic, Fisher Price baby doll into her pink cradle. She was playing with her dollhouse, and had set up all the accompanying furniture. I watched as she positioned the mommy and daddy dolls around the kitchen table. I couldn't resist; I had to ask:
"Lilly, what will the mommy and daddy do now that the baby is asleep?"
She paused for only a moment before replying:
"Now they will have peace!"
I can't begin to describe in words how big my smile was when she said that. Nor could I accurately convey the love and lightness felt in my heart, that such a witty comment invoked. I remember how I giggled and giggled for days afterward.
Beneath the endearing quality of this experience--and my daughter's brilliant response and charm--lies a substantial idea. Our homes should be peaceful places. This inspires a number of questions:
Are our homes safe havens for our children and family members? Are they our sanctuaries in an otherwise frightening and tumultuous world? Does peace reside there? Are we striving to extinguish anger and avoid contention?
Barbara Bush, wife of former president George Bush, spoke to the graduates of Wellesley College. In her speech she said, "Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside YOUR house." What is happening inside your house? Is peace happening? Is kindness happening? Is forgiveness happening? Is love?
The election is an important cause--it gives rise to action, it is what makes democracy great. We are blessed to be able to cast our ballots. But while I'm voting today, I'm going to remember that the most important cause of my lifetime is protecting the home.
The most important cause of my lifetime is my family.