May 10, 2018

Two Hours

Two hours. Two hours standing in the sun.

That’s how long my daughters, ages 18 and 20, and I waited on a recent afternoon in west Little Rock to vote early in the general election. When they were younger, there’s no way they would have stood in line for two hours for anything without complaining. But they were older now, and anyway this was different. This was important, and they got that.

Leslie Taylor, Vice Chancellor for Communications

Leslie Taylor, Vice Chancellor for Communications

And, as we stood there, a very loud man in line in front of us repeatedly trashed the candidates and issues I was voting for. He too taught me a lesson that day — one in control and biting my tongue.It was the first time for both of them to vote in a presidential election — and the younger one’s first time to vote at all. If I had been alone, I might have left and come back at another time. But, my daughters were sticking it out, and so I did too. They taught me a lesson in patience that day.

By the time our two hours was up, and we made it inside to the voting machines, we had bonded with the folks in line with us, even the loud-mouthed man whose views were juxtaposed to mine. A lady behind us remarked that she had spent so much time with all of us, she wanted to add us to her holiday card list.

While I wasn’t ready to go that far, I was left feeling very grateful.

Grateful to live in a country where I have the right to vote. Grateful to live in a country where all of us, no matter our political beliefs, have the right to stand in line and loudly express them. But, most of all, I was grateful to be the mother of daughters who understood the importance of voting, something women just 100 years ago did not have the right to do.