Our representative Congressman David Wu held a townhall in the little town right next to ours, so I thought I'd take the kids and see if I would get the opportunity to speak to him about my concerns. Not surprisingly, that didn't happen. Though we have a high school with a large gymnasium and several other venues he could have chosen that would have given many more people the ability to participate, there was only seating for 70 people inside the room where the townhall was held.
I'm still glad I went. Both kids were interested in the whole thing, and Ryan enjoyed reading all the signs and asking about what the meant. We had an impromptu civics and history lesson right there in the parking lot, and they got to see the democratic process at work. We didn't stay too long once we realized we wouldn't get in, but while we were there, it was pretty peaceful and respectful. It was frustrating to see (and hear) union employees who had their professionally made signs and who were bussed in from who knows where...but I digress.
The kids behaved very well and were patient with me as I lingered to listen to people talk and when I took the time to fill out a comment card, so afterward I surprised them and treated them to an ice cream cone at McDonald's. We ate ice cream and discussed the Constitution. I had a great time, and moments like those are what keeps me going with homeschooling, reminding me what a gift it is to be able to be there when the light bulb goes on.