Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ch-ch-changes! Or, simply put, WAHOOOOOOO!!!!

We huddled around my laptop, with it's stinkin' stop-go almost live coverage of yesterday's amazing events, and my eyes kept ping-ponging between my children and my President. And then I would cry and laugh and do a little dance that was no where near as graceful as the Obamas' fancy footwork at the Neighborhood Ball.

Just before bed, the boys and I sat down to write letters of congratulations to the 44th President of the United States of America.

"I am a little worried about him," Noah said as we sat along the coffee table. "He didn't smile much today."

"It is a big responsibility. He has a whole lot of work that he has to do now. I think we saw the weight of that today," I responded.

It was one of those moments when I realized that Noah is growing up. He did not ask "what work?" He did not look perplexed at the notion of it being a job that comes with heavy burdens.

There was an understanding in his silence, a sense of that strange emotion that happens when hope and fear collide.

He took out his pencil and wrote a simple, matter of fact letter. It included a line of congratulations. A vote of confidence. A laundry list of what he would like to see accomplished (1. end war 2. help more people who really need it 3. build better schools-- and by that I don't mean actual buildings). Thank you, my son added, for being who you are.

Max, at four, was to the point in his scribble/draw/dictation:
"I am glad you won (*in the spirit of the day, mom edited out the 'and beat that old McCain...,' and also the 'did you ever see the Palin rap from that late night tv show?). I hope someday we can ride the subway together, because it is the most funest thing to do in Washington, DC. Trust me. I did it before. Love, Max"

And as I continued to cry and laugh and get up to dance, I wrote this:

Dear President Obama,

Today, I sat with my children and listened to you as you accepted your position as leader of our nation. Outside, the blue sky and white snow seemed to reflect, one off the other, so that our yard was filled with light. Inside, my three young ones gathered around my lap, each smiling, and cheering and watching with unmistakable trust and joy as they listened to your words of hope, your call to action, your celebration of living a new dawn, a new day.

Tonight, I can only say thank you. Thank you, Mr. President, for giving us back our country, and even more than that, thank you for expecting more from all of us. I am a mother, and so to know that the leader of our country is a man who values the emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental needs of all the world’s children; it fills me with gratitude and a renewed sense of responsibility. Thank you, Mr. President, for being someone that will continue to inspire and engage my children as they grow and learn about service, ethics, and following dreams.

All the best to you,

A new day.
A new day.


*tiffany* said...

I swear, I cry every time I read your blog! You are such a great, instructive mother!

Beck said...

My grandmother phoned me crying with joy during his inaugeration, joyous that she has lived long enough to see this day.

Sus said...

I actually took a video of us and the kids watching the inauguration on tv - to remember the moment. A new day, indeed.

Astarte said...

Whahoo right back at ya!!!! I can honestly say that I feel EVERYTHING has changed, just in that one moment. I am so happy to be proud to be American again.

Katrina said...

Hi Kate! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting today! I been reading and enjoying some of your archives and I checked out your writing "Up North" as well, you write really good! I didn't want to feel like a lurker so I'm just letting you know! :o)

Zip n Tizzy said...

He's quite an inspiration. And I love the effect he has on my children. I actually found myself using him as an example in using good manners and it worked. As in, "please use your manners like you would want to be using if you were eating with Barack Obama." Turned them on like a charm.

Jenni said...

YEAH Kate! Thanks for writing this - what a great way to communicate the power of Tuesday and the entire election process! My heart is singing, but even moreso after reading this!

Zach said...

Dad and I were gathered around the compter at work watching the inaugeration. Love the part of Max's letter by the way.

Vanessa said...

Hi Kate! It was so nice of you to comment on my blog post. I am enjoying reading your blog. Aren't kids great - they say the funniest things.

sarah said...

A joyous, happy day indeed! Thank you for your comments about my orange hat! Keep at the knitting, you'll be making great things in no time.

Kristine said...

What a great idea to have the kids write a letter. Yours was beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Elissa said...

hi! so glad you found me at birch swinging! two boys and a girl and learning to knit.... i feel a kinship already! have been reading back over some of your posts and i like it here... i'll be back. btw, your post about the big V.... SO INCREDIBLY TRUE... thanks for writing it. my hubby signed up for his about three weeks after baby girl arrived, if it makes you feel any better... and i am mourning it NOW as ellie gets bigger, even while knowing it was the best for us. isn't it crazy.... this whole mama deal? xo elissa