If Only…

…elections could be like the one that happened here after dinner. Fresh off the experience of watching his mommy vote yesterday, Ethan decided to hold his own poll. (Drum roll, please.) Which Halloween candy should he eat for his dessert: M&M’s or Twix? He commanded those in favor of the M&M’s to raise their hands. Mommy exercised her right to choose the bag of chocolate morsels. Daddy, in turn, decided that Twix would be the better candidate. Ethan looked to the swing state younger brother to determine the final outcome. Connor shared Mommy’s ideology that the slightly bigger bag was well-deserved by hard-working Ethan. M&M’s won the tight race.

As is often the case, Connor followed his brother’s example and held his own Trick-or-Treat dessert election. This time it was M&M’s versus a lollipop. The clear unanimous winner was again M&M’s. No one questioned Daddy’s flip-flop on the M&M’s. We knew he had his well-intentioned reasons. The Twix looked smaller so it was the obvious choice for (kill-joy) Daddy. In the latter election, chocolate is easier to get out of teeth than chewed up lollipops.

Two minutes later, it was over. Totally over. No one gloated. No one sulked. No one questioned the choices of any of the others even when they differed. No one assumed the worst of those on the opposing side. Ethan did hold a brief post-election survey where he simply asked why we voted the way we did. We answered. He accepted and moved on without calling us names or insulting our reasons. We all accepted the votes, the outcomes and the participants. We did not think the dessert world was doomed for lollipop lovers. We did not think that those preferring M&M’s were less spiritual than Twix fans nor that those with a taste for caramel had less intelligence than those for straight up chocolate. We enjoyed the process of taking part in the decision together and for two young lucky voters, savored the spoils of the winners.

Yes, life is much more complicated. It is not as simple as hard candy versus chocolate. But still, if only….

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