Hurray for Today

“My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty…”

In November Charlotte came with me to vote. We both voted for Mr. Obama (is anyone reading this surprised about that?). Bubba voted for Mr. McCain because Charlotte thought everyone should get a vote from us.

Charlotte was excited that Mr. Obama won. And, one of her best “toddler tricks” is her recognition of his picture whenever she sees a poster, newspaper photograph, or, today, an inauguration pin on someone’s lapel.

But, since last night she’s reached new heights. We’ve been telling her that today is the day that Mr. Obama will become president. I tried to explain that Mr. Bush would be president when she left for school and Mr. Obama would be president by the time she got home.

Here are some of her comments since yesterday:

  • “Mr. Obama is my favorite president.”
  • “Mommy, look, there’s my president.” (Watching Mr. and Mrs. Obama leave Blair House this morning.)
  • “Mommy, if Mr. Obama is still president when I get home from school and I’m bigger, let’s go see him.”
  • “Ooh, Mommy, that house is pretty.” (Upon seeing the White House for the first time.)
  • “I know, Mommy.” (When I mentioned, again, what a special day it is.)
  • “Really? He’s from Chicago?” (How had I forgotten to tell her that? Her eyes went open so wide when I mentioned that he is from a neighborhood not to far from some friends of ours.)

I’m pretty sure that my explanation of the nature of our peaceful exchange of power went right over her little head. But, she did recognize the American flag and she wants to understand why people all over the world are excited today.

I am moved to tears, not just by today’s extraordinary events, but also by my daughter’s 3-year old eyes watching this day and seeing her realize how special it is. Mr. Obama will be her president–not just because (I hope) he will work to make her world better, but because he will be the first president of whom she is aware and who she will remember. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders as he stands on the shoulders of his predecessors to take office today. I think the most important expectations he may have to live up to are the expectations of the children.

Here in our house we wish President Obama patience, wisdom, strength, good judgement, good will, and good luck.

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