Life

I’m wearing my damn shirt.

My kids and I all watch the debates and follow elections closely. We discuss and Anthony and I never impose our views onto them. I love hearing their fresh take on who they are supporting this election and why. We have a mix in the household, always have. Anthony and I caucused in the 2016 Republican nominee election, he for Cruz, myself for Rubio.

Things have changed in 4 years for me personally. However, we still show love in this house. We don’t call names to others who don’t have the same opinion. What we do stay away from are the bullies. Calling others names, intimidation, ignorant comments are forms of bullying. You don’t have to attack those who have opposing beliefs. You can coexist. However, I cannot coexist with bullies.

I left my high school my junior year because of bullying. Said goodbye to Sanford High because of bullies. There were rumors that I was pregnant and that’s why I left. No. I was told to kill myself. To not show my face in public again. I would come to town and my car would be blocked in and I would have to call the police. Hard to do in 1999 without a cell phone and in your car. There were other rumors of course, but nobody ever asked me about them directly. So, my supportive parents quietly packed us up and moved me to Milton. A high school junior in a world with people I didn’t know.

I don’t tolerate bullying.

So when Aiden said, “Mom, you cannot wear that shirt! You will be bullied and mobbed.”

I said, “Aiden, I love you. I’m not going to be afraid to have an opinion, just like I won’t degrade others who think differently than I do.”

And then he hugged me.

Your children hear you. Don’t teach them to be a bully. Teach them love and acceptance. Teach them to stand up for their beliefs and share their reasoning without having to yell or name call.

What’s on your list of political must haves, may not be on mine. And that’s ok.

This year I’m voting for my friends who are scared. Scared that their LGBTQ marriages are at risk. I’m voting for my Vietnam Veteran father who would lose it all just to put my mom who has dementia into a nursing home. I’m voting for BLM protesters who are telling us there is systematic racism in this country that so many are ignorant to. I’m voting for prison reform and for the homeless. I’m voting for those who peacefully practice their religions, but are called terrorists because it looks different to the privileged. I’m voting for families like ours who have two working parents, trying to give their kids a better life. I’m voting for peace. I’m voting for love.

And, I’m wearing my damn shirt. 💙

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