It has been a difficult few months for my family.  Homeschooling, 6 cases of the flu, working from home, and keeping up with a rather heated political battle has left this mama a bit worse for wear.  While I can count a few more grey hairs as a result of this mega-dose of “life”, I’m also very thankful for the opportunity to teach.  Where textbooks have traditionally failed, I have had the blessing to share real life with my children.

I remember sitting in my elementary classroom, slightly aware of the election. I had read all about the electoral college, studied the history of the vote, and knew on a intellectual level that we all had “duties,” “rights,” and “opportunity.”   On the home front, my parents were very, very active.  As a farming family in the 80’s, there was no other way to be.  I can remember staying up late with my parents at rallies, coloring in the cartoonish candidate representations on homemade buttons, and listening to my folks talk about “fighting the good fight.”  We attended Farm Aid.  We met Willy Nelson.  I thought it was all glamorous and exciting.

This year, I had the blessing to share politics with my own children.  Four of them, ranging in age from 1 to 10, all heard Mommy react to talk radio, tv news reports, and the Twitterings of so many varying viewpoints on the election.  This year, my kids watched us pray at the table for guidance and wisdom in our choices for the next President, as we watched family and friends from our own churches disagree on the fundamental basics of what made a good President.

This year, I explained racism to my daughter.  I watched in wonder and excitement, as she genuinely could not understand how anyone would be judged by the color of their skin. 

This year, I explained sexism to my children, how women were created with beautiful and unique gifts and abilities, but that they often went unappreciated.

This year, I explained economics to my children.  How money is earned, and money is saved, and how even with the best intentions, it can all disappear in the blink of an eye.  We studied sustainable lifestyles, bought a goat, loved on our chickens, and carried firewood.

This year, I cried when the campaign ended.  I let my children see my sorrow and disappointment in the outcome of the election.  I also shared my resolve to continue doing what we were doing, teaching what we were teaching, and caring for our friends and neighbors in the same way (if not more) than we had before.

I’m not sure if we “fought the fight.”  We did what I think most American families do when they select and support a candidate, and I'd like to believe that I did it with as much grace as possible.  We didn’t get our way in this election, and it won’t be the last time we’ll be disappointed.  The love and honesty, patience and kindness that I’ve tried to show others during this election may not get me an electoral vote, but it will go a long way towards my children’s lifelong education.