One of my regrets as a mother is that my children are decidedly apathetic and, like many kids, still pretty egocentric.
Does it affect ME? Right NOW? No? Then never mind.
The Roo-girl, at 14, is still only as interested in the outside world as her schoolwork requires. ("Mom, can you bring home a newspaper? I have to do a current event for tomorrow.")
J-Bear is 18 and is still mostly about her job, her animals and karate.
Z-man, 19, is cooking. He's in culinary school. At 18, he had to register for the draft (a stunning moment for him), but he has so far declined to register to vote.
The Drama King has a stake in politics this year. As a gay man (aged 24), he celebrated California's acceptance of same-sex marriage earlier this year.
But does he realize that Proposition 8 could take this away? Maybe. Has he registered to vote so he can make a difference?
So the phone call I received this past week from my oldest, Drummer Man, 27, was a refreshing moment as he peppered me with questions -- and his opinions.
"What do you think of the candidates, Mom?"
"Did you watch the presidential debate?"
"Are you going to watch the vice presidential debate?"
"What is the failure of the bailout going to mean for me as a renter? I'm guessing I won't be able to buy a house any time soon."
"Do you think Sarah Palin will step aside?"
"I'm thinking about voting for Obama, but I'm still looking at everything and learning."
Oh my goodness, dude.
So, Drummer Man, did you register to vote?
"Absolutely. I'm really excited about voting this year. I finally figured out that this DOES affect me and my future, and I'd better pay attention."
Who are you, and what did you do with my egocentric little boy?
Ah, now I see. You now are a grown man -- with a job, a home (albeit a rented apartment), a girlfriend, bills and vision that looks FORWARD, instead of merely right in front of your nose.
Perhaps there IS hope for us all.