Jordan had a chance to witness history today… and it interupted her Little Einsteins marathon as she recovered from an icky fever-induced cold that set her back a day and a half. I kept her home today to make sure she was really feeling well enough to return to school tomorrow. So she had a chance to watch the swearing-in ceremony with me.
I thought that was pretty cool.
She thought it was in the way of her television watching — which happens rarely on a weekday. In our household, illness equals open access to television viewing so you will stay calm and take huge naps. (Which she did today) I explained to her that we were about to watch our country get a new president.
“A new present? I like presents!”
“No honey, a new president. A new person who will help run the United States… our country.”
“Will I get a present?”
“No… But we’ll have a new leader. Barack Obama.”
“Oh! I like Barack Obama! He’s my friend.”
“He’s your friend?”
“Can I watch Little Einsteins when it’s over?”
“Yes. Yes you can.”
When I turned on the ceremony, she decided to play with her pretend kitchen. But I stopped her for a second and pointed out the HUGE crowds of people. She sort of paid attention in between serving me big pots of wooden food which I was required to “eat.”
When Barack Obama was on the television screen I asked Jordan to come over and I pointed him out and reminded her that Barack Obama was going to become president. She seemed a little interested, especially when I pointed out that he was a dad who had two little girls. I showed her Malia and Sasha. That seemed pretty cool.
“Mommy, I’m going to give him a hug someday. Can I give him a hug?”
“Um, I’m not sure that will be very easy to do.”
“I’m going to. I’m going to give him a hug.”
Hey, you never know when it’s Jordan we’re talking about. She’s surprised me in all kinds of ways. Maybe she’ll get her wish.
I pulled Jordan near me to watch the actual swearing in ceremony and made sure she knew that Barack Obama was the new president. I also asked her to pose next to the television when he started talking to the crowd. I just wanted to capture a little moment of history with her. Then she sat on my lap to watch the rest of the ceremony. I was really surprised to see her kind of pay attention. Maybe she just liked the mommy cuddles.
When the speech, poem and prayer was over she perked up and noticed the event was over… and immediately asked if she could watch Little Eintsteins. I put it off a little longer. I wanted to watch more of the pomp and circumstance. She liked looking at the happy crowd.
Soon the Obamas were walking side by side with the Bushes and I pointed out George Bush to Jordan.
“That’s the old president. His name is George Bush.”
“That’s Barack Obama! He’s a daddy. She’s a mommy.”
“Her name is Michelle Obama. George Bush is a daddy too.”
“Oh… He gets to go on a helicopter! I wanna ride on a helicopter. Can I ride on a helicopter when I get bigger?”
“You never know. Maybe you can.”
I eventually let her watch her show… and got her to take a nap. I thought it was pretty incredible that George Bush will be someone she studies in school but she’ll have no memory of his time as president. I guess that would be Gerald Ford for me.
Jordan woke up from her nap just as the Obamas were riding through the early parts of the parade. She came downstairs and immediately asked:
“Can I watch more Barack Obama?”
“Well, actually… He’s in a parade right now.”
“I wanna watch a parade! There’s fireworks in parades! Can I watch fireworks?”
“Um, you will probably have to watch a while. I’m not sure if there will be fireworks.”
When the president and Michelle Obama walked a portion of the parade Jordan got very excited. She waved to them and reminded me that they were her friends and they were a mom and a dad. I guess our time watching this event brought her a little more connection to our new leader and his family.
I don’t share my political feelings in public, but I do think today was a moment worth remembering in history. Our nation’s attitude towards race changed so rapidly since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke. President Barack Obama shows my children how leaders don’t have to have our identical skin color or our identical heritage. And I don’t have to teach that, Cameorn and Jordan will just know it’s okay to be different because of who they have as president. I have many hopes for the next four years. Who knows what can happen in our nation… But I know the next four years and beyond will be incredible for Jordan. The past three have been amazing, exhausting, exhilarating and such a learning experience. I kind of feel our country is heading into a new period in time… And with a change in Jordan’s care and her new school I feel we’re in a bit of a new zone for her as well. But all of it is for the better. And I’m ready to see what’s ahead for all of us.