Children on Inauguration Day

Yeah, yeah.  I watched the inauguration like everyone else.  Let me tell you, I was inspired as all get out.  It was a double whammy of goodness.  First, Bush is finally out of office and he can’t get back in even with the Supreme Court on his side.  I mean, how could you not be happy about that?  The reign of incompetence has come to an end.  Watching his (tax-payer funded, can we please get this guy off the public trough?) helicopter carry him away from the capital, it was a sight of joy.

Second, we get a smart, eloquent, thoughtful individual into the White House.  After eight years of “I go with my gut cause God speaks to me through my gut,” that is a relief, let me tell you.  But we don’t just get someone who isn’t dumb, we get a leader who cares and gets it and understands he can make mistakes and can talk about and think about it.  Obama is going to do a great job.  He makes me believe that change really is possible.  Guessing by the number of people on the Mall today, I don’t think I am the only one.

But the point here.  I met my daughter as she got off the bus and the two of us went to pick up her brother.  Once we gathered him up, the three of us got in the car to head home.  As we pulled out, National Public Radio rebroadcast Obama’s speech from earlier in the day.  The first thing that happened was that my daughter said, “Daddy, can you turn this up?”  A little while later, my son, who wanted to hear about Barack Obama, said “This guy isn’t talking about Barack Obama.”  My daughter’s response:  “That’s cause this is Barack Obama.”

All that was good stuff.  I was happy that they were paying attention and might just understand some of what they heard and maybe even remember this day.  But here is the best part:  they actually paid attention.  They were looking out the windows but listening.  Maybe it was just Obama’s tone, but they were rapt.  I’m thinking if I want to get their attention in the future I can just play back this speech and they will start listening and then I can just slowly fade it out and start talking and all of a sudden they will be paying attention to me and they will do whatever I want just like I was the brain from outer space with my secret zombie army that will do whatever I command.

This is a historical day.  I want my children to remember it.  I wish I could just command them to remember it but I do not have the power of the space traveling brain and, as far as I know, they are not zombies.  So I will have to trust to more conventional means, like talking about it and listening to what they have to say about it.  Obama, in his speech, mentioned the importance of  “a parent’s willingness to nurture a child” to the fate of the nation.

I’m on it.  With these kids, it will be easier than it might.  As I write they are marching about the house chanting “O O Obama, O O Obama.”  I guess I get inspired more than once today.

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