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Good Morning, America.

You're looking a little different than when we last met.

I woke Maria this morning to tell her Barack Obama had been elected president of the United States. As she blinked away the sleep, she named a particular member of our family and said he is "not going to be very happy.''

"No, he's not. Lots of people are not happy, but the majority, that's most people, voted for Barack Obama. So, he gets the job. That's how America works,'' I explained.

Ah, the little ones, constant reminders that everything is a learning opportunity.

I have been overdosing on the campaign these last few weeks. I find presidential elections fascinating and a little disgusting, a combination that makes it hard for a news junkie like me to look away. And because it has been in the air in our house and in our car (thank you satellite radio!), we've talked a lot about angry words, about truths and lies, about winning and losing, about choices and freedom, and privilege and democracy. My family, remember, is from Cuba, where America's inherent truths do not apply and I want my daughter to understand just how fortunate she is to be free.

The other night at dinner, a few hours after her pre-school class held mock elections, Maria told us the people who voted for the losing ticket were wrong. Her father and I both jumped at it. They're not wrong, we explained. Voting for the person you want to win is a choice, and a choice that should be respected. In America, hallelujah, everyone has a voice and a choice, we said.

"It's kind of like choosing ice cream. You pick chocolate chip and I pick vanilla. Neither one is wrong, it's just that you want chocolate chip and I want vanilla,'' I told her.

"Right, they're both yummy,'' she said.

Some are more yummy than others, for sure. But, that's a conversation for another election.


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