Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Choosing Hope Over Fear

WHAT A THRILL! The world ground to a halt today, and stopped to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office. I watched that and his speech, which I thought was brilliant. I've finally awoken from an eight-year nightmare.

For the rest of the afternoon, I flipped back and forth between channels. I'm sure it was exciting beyond words to be in that crowd, but frankly, not so exciting to watch. However... I just happened to flip back when the President and First Lady decided to stop the motorcade and get out and walk for a few blocks. And it just confirmed what I have hoped: he gets it. It was more important than irking all the security staff, more important than freezing his (and Michelle's) brains out, that he get out and share that moment, that experience, with the thousands and thousands of people who spent the entire day standing in the cold, just to be there. They had hoped to get just a glimpse of the motorcade...that would have been enough! And when they saw President and First Lady, they just went crazy. I was so excited and happy for all of them, yes, I had a teary moment.

As a child, you don't always have an understanding of the context of events. So I called Supergirl #4, KC, who turned 12 in September. Turns out she was able to watch the inauguration in school. I told her that someday, years from now, she would tell her grandchildren about this day:

"You will tell them, ‘When I was a girl, I got to watch the presidential inauguration of the very first African American on television!’ And they will say, “Grandma, what's television?’ And then you will tell then how your Auntie called you on the telephone to make sure you really understood what an important moment in history you had witnessed, and your grandchildren will say, ‘Grandma, what's a telephone?’”
And she cracked up. So I'm pretty sure she will remember me joking about her grandchildren, and maybe she will remember that we were talking about a magical, pivotal moment in history.

This is my fourth historical moment. Kennedy's assassination, moon landing, September 11, and today.


OtterX said...

I slipped out at lunch to watch a little bit at a local bar/restaurant (which didn't have the restaurant part up and running yet!). When working in the financial sector, you are a bit more hard-pressed to find people excited about President Obama. I found it hard to believe that they barely glanced up from their desks to watch history unfold on the televisions above their heads. Grrrrrrrrrr.

La Cootina said...

Amazing! As was the fact that Wall Street tanked yet again that day. I guess that's the last place to feel the ripple effect of hope.