Free to Hope

We were lucky today to be able to take our kids to the local one screen theater to watch President Obama’s inauguration. Young and old clapped and cheered. Just like if we were on the plaza: we stood when you were supposed to stand, bowed our heads to pray and sang along with our hands over our hearts.

The audience was clearly democratic. You could decode this by their modest, respectful applause for the past republican president and wild cheers and whoops of delight for the past democratic presidents. Hysterics and tears were saved for Obama. Waves good-bye were silent with a few giggles for Bush when he was walking out.

All three children watched intently. Even 7 year old Birk was as quiet as a mouse with her big eyes fastened to the screen. It is so refreshing to share an experience that marks the change of times that even children find compelling.

A sold out theater, full of all kinds of people full of hope. We are all looking for guidance through what will be very tough times to come. We need a leader, and I think, by George Washington, we’ve got one.



  1. midwin
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Although I am woefully behind in writing in my kids’ babybooks, I could not let Obama’s inauguration day pass without note. Here’s my entry into my oldest’s book:

    “What a strange and amazing day to be a parent of young children. It is difficult to express how happy I am that Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first African-American president today. It is a moment in history that will be remembered around the world forever. Yet you cannot know why it is so historic without knowing the past. How could I possibly explain that to you? Where would I begin? Where would I end? On New Year’s Eve at Chuck E. Cheese you found an African-American toddler who was trapped in the overhead play tubes. I watched as you brought her down the slide. You held her hand and walked her over to her parents. It was an act of kindness – a gesture of your good nature that you would have repeated with any child. I am proud that you see no difference in skin color, culture, or class. So what lessons rooted in our past mistakes do I possibly need to explain to you that you don’t already know? Yet, it is the weight of this moment that I want to share with you. It is the pride I feel when I hear stories from people around the world who have a renewed sense of America as the land of the free, the land of hope. It is the glow of so many hearts in a time of growing economic despair in our country. So, I decided to share this moment in your language. We made Obama sundaes tonight, filled with bananas, chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, hot fudge, and whipped cream. The look of joy and anticipation on your face as you watched me build each new layer was unmistakable. Perhaps you recognized the same look of joy and anticipation on my own face today.”

  2. Mermaid
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, hooray, Obama sundaes for all!

    As my kids get older, I see that they are starting to understand some of these issues. I am thankful that we live in a time and place where they are taught about why change is important.

    I suppose that is why my daughter Ruth demands that we buy fair trade organic products and my son John worries about our carbon footprint all of the time. They now teach me a lot of things and I’m changing my own habits as well.

    Give that sweet boy a hug for me!

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