The boys usually start the downward spiral to bedtime at 7:30, give or take the random school function, unscheduled bath, or any number of unforeseen occurrences that might manifest themselves into the belly of routine like so many knots in my stomach. Lights out follows shortly thereafter.
Last night we told the boys that they could stay up late as long as they were watching the election results. Detours through the playroom and pockets full of LEGO were strictly forbidden. A half-dozen bookmarks, each holding down worlds and adventure, stretched like ladders toward the infinite cosmos of their respective imaginations, but those stories, too, were not on the table (figuratively speaking). It was a night of historical significance, and if they were to be a part of it they would be a part of it fully.
We ate dinner, pulled blankets and dogs heavy upon us, and we hunkered down for what was surely going to be an exhausting evening of great suspense and countless hours to foster discussion.
You see, for the past few months I have tried, with varying levels of success, to keep my boys informed and interested in the political process. They have listened to NPR in the car, and they have sat through my tangent-covered ramblings as I attempted to address each point in a manner relating to the world that they know.
Luckily, our extended family, despite roots running as red as the state where they are planted, has managed to blossom forth flowers of diversity and difference in bouquets of brilliant color, and this the palette I prefer to paint from.
For instance, the radio talks of ethnicity, injustice, and marriage equality, and we take a virtual walk around the dinner table. We turn the tenets of hate back with familiar faces and their echoes of love and laughter. Family is a mirror of clear perspective, and they have no tolerance for the lacking of it.
We sat on the couch, two tired parents longing for rest, and two tired boys longing for the opposite. It was bedtime, the night promised to stretch forever, and we braced ourselves between hope and pundits.
The election was called less than an hour later, and lights out followed shortly thereafter.