The other day Big Kid said he would be scared if Mitt Romney won. little kid agreed solemnly.
That gave me great pause. Of course it's hard to retain total objectivity when you're passionate about something (everything!) but when we "officially" discussed the election, I tried with impartiality to break down in the most simple of terms why each party supported each candidate. I thought I always made a point of behaving myself in politically influenced conversations they were a part of and was cautious when they were listening. Heck, Big Kid was even a really big Romney fan at first and I supported that (it was difficult but good practice for when he grows up to be whoever he wants).
But they know who I like. And I have clearly discounted the fact that they are sneaky little eavesdroppers, paying attention to more than I realize and picking up on things in the most simple of ways and breaking it down to what they know; the idea of being scared. (I am not scared of Romney becoming president, by the way. I am worried about the current political climate in general though and I'm sure they've picked up on that. And that made them scared.)
"Don't be scared! Please! If I can teach you anything, it would be to be involved and active without reacting with fear because it's often impossible to get the big picture with politics. Mitt Romney is a smart, successful man who loves his family. He did really well in the debates--he's a good speaker and a confident guy and even if I don't personally agree with what he is saying, I understand why others might and maybe I'm wrong. That's the most important thing, a lot of people get really hung up on being "right" about who they like, to the point of refusing to be able to like even one single thing that the other guy has done or might do that could be good, and that just hurts the whole country. Both candidates are smart men. Maybe it would be better or maybe it would be worse but we get to choose again in another 4 years and not a whole lot happens in 4 years anyway, thanks to the checks and balances of congress."
(See how I said "checks and balances" and not "assholes"? It was a very mature conversation).
"So you wouldn't be scared if Mitt Romney became president?" Big Kid asked, looking me in the eye for any hint of dishonesty.
"...No. I would be disappointed based on the points we most solidly disagree on but I would have to hope it all turned out alright. We will all be okay, either way."
"Okay," Big Kid said. "But his vice president is crazy."
(He saw Paul Ryan's work out pictures. They made him uncomfortable.)
"Eh...he's a little weird but Mitt's healthy. We'll be okay."
(Because I was all out of diplomacy by then.)