I remember the 1980 election where Reagan was elected for his first term. I remember the voting booths that had been set up in the neighborhood elementary school and my little brother and I accompanying my Mom into the booth formed out of heavy fabric. I would have been just shy of my 6th birthday. The election of 1984 is far more defined in my memory as it was a year filled with headlines; the Olympics in Los Angeles (the Soviet boycott of it, the world's love affair with Mary Lou Retton), AIDS entered mainstream consciousness (and the serious conversation about it my parents had with my brother and I which defined us as the last generation to know a world without the disease), and of course the eponymous title of George Orwell's novel (which introduced me to the sad fact that some books were on a "banned list"). It was also the year I hit one of those favorite childhood milestones: my first double digit birthday.
We've had the privilege of living in and visiting countries with governments far different from what we enjoy here in the United States. We've enjoyed sharing the experiences with our boys, and look forward to continuing their practical education through giving them the first hand knowledge that comes with living in a community different from what you know. Here in the U.S., we make a point of taking the boys with us when we go to the polls so they will always remember the high value we place on being involved in our community and our nation. And being that they are 5 and 8, I'm pleased to know that they will only ever remember a time when the highest office in the land was available to either gender and any race. I recently heard Erwin McManus say that you could always tell when a movie was set in the future by the fact that a black man was president. The future arrives tomorrow!