Dear My Favorite Small People,
Today history unfolded in front of our very eyes. Well, at least in front of mine and the millions of adults, teenagers and children who were lucky enough to grasp the magnitude of January 20, 2009.
I have tried to share the moments with you today as they happened, but you were perplexed by my ‘tears of joy’. When you are 4 and 2 years old, you only cry when you are sad, but trust me, my sweet babies, you will shed tears in the years to come when happiness fills your soul and you simply overflow.
I have loved hearing you recognize the men running for this highest office. Your squeals of recognition when now President Barack Obama’s face was present on our TV screen will forever be a part of my psyche. And, Coop, he will always be part ‘E-rock O-Bana’ to me.
As we listened to Barack Obama pledge a unique allegiance to our country, I was struck by something very special: there will be many moments in your life that root you to the ground, compelling you to remember ‘exactly where you were’ when those events happened, but, as history has shown us, most of those moments will be powerful in a tragic nature. In your history classes you will learn about 9-11, about Challenger and Columbia, about Hurricane Katrina and many others.
But today was different. Today was the opposite of tragedy – it was pure triumph. It was a beautiful tribute to the United States of America, what this country stands for and how powerful the collective voice of the people can be.
President Barack Obama is the first African American President. He has proven that there is absolutely no dream too big. While you and I will never truly understand the magnitude of this for the African American men, women and children in this amazing country, we will be proud that we live in a nation that is destroying the lines of race between citizens.
President Obama will be the President you initially hear most about in school as he will be in Office as you begin to learn. He has a very tough road ahead of him, and I truly hope he will be someone you respect.
I know it will be years before Obama’s gift as an orator will effect you as it has me, but I hope you can take comfort in my words as I tell you, he is something special. He, whether you agree with all of his political philosophies or not, has moved Americans (and many from other countries as well) in a way that few have. He is giving hope in a time that we need it. He is dreaming and setting lofty goals in a time that has been drowning in a collective frustration with a down economy, millions of lost jobs, and a continuing war.
His gift for inspiring and offering hope, I believe, are just the beginning.
I hope, as you get older, you will know that my priority is and always has been the two of you – your health, your education, your safety, your dreams. I respect President Barack Obama because I believe his priorities and mine are the same: You and the other children who make up the future of the United States.
I love you and am grateful you tried to share my joy and awe today. And, I know that President Barack Obama would think your little kid enthusiasm for his moment in history was something special.