Hormones and Politics Don’t Mix


I am living in a house with tweens and teens and clearly this is no place for politics. The combination of raging hormones and enthusiaistic undeveloped frontal lobes is enough to power a small country for the next 10 years.

One child refuses to watch the debate but is nearly in tears and vowing to move to Canada over the whole thing.

One child wants to watch the debate but is completely focused on the hilarious Twitter commentary.

One child doesn’t understand what is so funny/upsetting about the debate, but desperately wants to stay up and watch anyway.

I remember watching an old black and white television as men landed on the moon and took “one giant step for mankind.” My mom had said, “remember this – it is important,” so I did.

I remember when President Nixon resigned and how sad he seemed. My little sister wanted to invite him to her birthday party.

I remember the tight-lipped, terse comments my parents made here and there about political figures and events, because politics weren’t something polite people discussed. Everyone knew that.

I remember the first debate I watched and how terribly important it all felt to me and how upset I was thinking about how awful I just knew it would be if my candidate did not win.

I wonder how my kids are going to remember current events and politics from these years.  Will it be in a clever tweet of 140 characters or less?

Do you have clear memories of politics from when you were a kid?

Share This:


  1. It was more interesting watching the debate with our teens last night. They both wanted to know “who won” and that surprised me. Is there ever really a winner?
    One question that came up that made me laugh…”Why do Republicans always have the same hairstyle?” I had to think for a minute and realized they mostly do – Reagan and Romney? We have an “eat and learn” place mat with all the pictures of the presidents and I guess someone was paying attention – in between the dried bits of leftover dinner on the place mat!

    1. annie kip says:

      I am so glad to know that those educational placemats are paying off! I had the same ones! It was really interesting to watch the debates with the kids! I am not much into politics and am mostly discouraged by the scene, but I think it is good to teach the kids to pay attention to these historic things.

  2. Ingrid Goldbloom says:

    Oh and I remember the moon landing (I was 6). Right when they were landing and stepping onto the moon my little sister had a major diaper explosion and my mother missed the whole thing. She still talks about it to this day.

    The most visceral memory though, and most important, was being a little girl and getting to go into the voting booth with my mom and pulling the lever that made the curtain close. It felt very grown up and important.

    1. annie kip says:

      Those family memories – however messy! – are awesome! I remember the voting booths too! I bring my kids with me to vote anytime I can so they can have the same experience, but it isn’t quite the same.

  3. Ingrid Goldbloom says:

    Hi Annie,
    When my parents (who are very Liberal Democrats) met my ex-husband for the first time I had printed up a special t-shirt for him. When they picked him up at the Airport he got off the plane wearing a “Nixon in 92” T-shirt.

    1. annie kip says:

      That is a riot!!! I am sure he carried it off with aplomb! It is interesting how politics can inspire so muhc humor. I am glad we live in a country where we are not afraid to laugh about these things.

  4. I also remember the moon landing. My mom made me come in from playing, and said almost the same thing your mom did: “This is important and you should see it.” (I was 4!)

    I remember the Watergate hearings interrupting all my favorite TV shows the summer I was 8. I remember asking adults over and over what it was about and how none of them gave me answers that made any sense to me.

    I remember a high school teacher being so upset the morning after the 1980 presidential election because the election was called before the west coast polls closed.

    I remember the attempted assassination of Reagan, and a girl in the hallway laughing because she thought it was funny, and being horrified at her reaction.

    I remember being the only girl in my sorority who didn’t vote for Reagan in ’84. I remember how disappointing it was to finally be able to vote and to know as I was casting it that my candidate wasn’t going to win. I remember feeling isolated and wondering how I would find people who thought like me.

    The thing that had the biggest impact on me, though, was in 1973, when the end of the Vietnam War was announced. I asked my mom who won. “No one,” she said. And she looked so very sad. I asked how that could be, and she said, “It’s complicated.” The idea that there could be no clear winner or loser took the world from black and white to grey. And there are way more than 50 shades of it to the eyes I have now, nearly 40 years later.

    1. annie kip says:

      What wonderful memories, Rita! Those are such defining moments and so clear. I am the same age as you and I remember many of those events too – except the Viet Nam war ending – my parents didn’t talk a whole lot about that. Don’t know why.

      It is really interesting to compare what you thought then with what you know now. I am so curious about what our children are going to say of these times when they are our age. Will these times be as interesting? Will they feel any optimism? Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.