Maybe kids should run the country

April, 14, 2008

by Jenni Sebora

Do you remembering forming clubs when you were younger?

Designating a place to meet, choosing the all important name to identify your club and determining the purpose and goals of the club were the all important decisions that needed to be made.

A few weeks ago I drove my 11-year old son to his club meeting – a snowhill by the school (of course, he brought his sled along too). It’s a girl-boy club and anyone in his grade could join, and Ecto-club is its name.

The kids meet at the snowhill, clad in their snow apparel with sleds in hand to fit in some sledding as part of the meeting’s agenda too. (This winter, there was only one time a meeting was cancelled due to very cold temperatures.)

The club’s current goals are fundraising to build the club house and forming a club web site.

Collectively, the members are putting their minds and resources together. They plan on hosting a garage sale during the city-wide garage sale days next fall to earn some money to build their club house.

They plan on selling cookies and whatever else they can come up with. The word is that a few of their schoolmates sold cookies at their family’s garage sale last year and made a lot of money.

One of the girl’s grandma is very talented at sewing, so of course, the club members think she would be the perfect source for club T-shirts.

A boy’s dad is a computer guru and develops websites as a profession. He would logically be the man for the job of helping the club develop their own website, so my son tells me.

A club needs a clubhouse. Soon the snowhill will no longer exist. My son, along with other members, have been saving their money to buy wood for the construction of this needed clubhouse. My son has been questioning my husband as to types and lengths of wood, etc. that would be best for its construction.

He also informs my husband and me that our yard will be the location of this clubhouse. That’s his contribution. My husband is also a lawyer so he could also help out with any legal matters that may arise as well.

When I picked up my son from “the hill,” my face bore a grin from ear to ear at the sight of the kids clad in snowsuits sitting at the top of the hill with their heads together talking about whatever they talk about. Each child then departed with sleds in hand bidding a goodbye until tomorrow when they see each other in school.

My son entered the car and immediately began sharing with me what they plan on doing and what they accomplished this meeting time.

Most of the time I just listen to him and occasionally will interject parental words of “Make sure no one gets left out.”

He always tells me, “Don’t worry, Mom.”

After he shared with me the club’s exciting plans, he ended the conversation with, “Kids can do a lot, Mom.”

I smiled and replied, “They certainly can.”

To be a child again with the creativity, honesty, void of the politics of the world – for the most part. Kids can do a lot. More than we sometimes give them credit for.

This brings my thought processing to: Maybe our kids should rule the country or more like it, maybe we should have run the country more with the mindset of our children. Maybe our country needs to be run more like how children run their clubs.

With the political debates in full swing I am always in awe as to how we as adults act. Sometimes I think common sense has gone by the wayside when it comes to elections and how we run our country. Most of the time, votes are cast based on what political party the candidate holds. And in legislative session votes on issues and laws are cast based on what political party sponsored the legislation.

Can we just use common sense and quit arguing about whether someone is conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat. . . and just vote based on what one thinks is best for the greater good?

In a kids’ club, you just have to be a kid to be a member. It doesn’t matter what political party you may be in to decide how you are going to vote, because their clubs don’t have political parties. They just collectively decide on what their club is going to be called, what their goals are and how they are going to achieve them. They make decisions and vote on how they feel, void of any political party stand.

The club members collectively put their minds and resources together for the greater good – the girl with the grandmother’s sewing talent, the boy with the computer savvy father, etc.

They don’t worry about or furthermore even designate themselves with titles, such as conservative, ultraconservative or liberal or conservative liberal. . . and then vote based solely on whether they are conservative or liberal or anything in between.

Kids just make decisions based on what they believe is right (which certainly doesn’t always correspond with what we as parents may think is right), but the point is they don’t spend all of their precious time arguing about titles, etc., they just get the job done. And they even have time for “sledding” at the end of the day.

Yes, kids can do a lot of things. And don’t underestimate them.