Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy New President!

Are you still riding the high from yesterday's festivities? It felt like a holiday! Everywhere I went yesterday people were glowing from the surge of hope in their hearts - standing taller from the weight lifted from their shoulders as Bush departed on Executive One.

Sadly, Ben's school chose not to have the children watch the Inauguration. I almost kept him home so he could see it live. Many of our friends did. Ultimately, however, I opted to view it alone, without hundreds of questions being rapid-fired at me. TiVo is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Ha!

So last night we sat with Ben to re-watch the important parts of that historical day: the procession (so as to identify the players), Obama's swearing in and speech and the farewell to George W. Interestingly, he already knew much about what was going on from lessons in school. I'm grateful for that, at least. I don't know enough of the technicalities of our government's transition to trust a young mind to my version of events. What surprised me was that he had no real knowledge of the civil rights movement beyond MLKs "I Have A Dream" speech.

One of Ben's most frequent playmates is an half African-American half Seminole Indian (I think) boy that lives across the street. He was adopted by our neighbors at birth. Lucky for us. B's presence in Ben's life made civil rights much easirr to explain.

We explained how at one time B would not have been able to go to the same school as Ben, or drink from the same fountain or even be his friend.

"But why?", Ben asked.

"Because B's a different color. And a long time ago white people thought that meant that he wasn't as good as they were."

"But I'm brown, too." he says pointing to his arm.


I won't bore you with our little home-school lesson. Suffice it to say that he now has a better understanding of the magnitude of yesterday's events.

While I didn't get to explain the finer points of President Obama's Address to Ben, or point out the poetry of his words, he learned a much more valuable lesson. I am so profoundly happy that my sons will grow up in a world where the son of a black immigrant can campaign against a woman for the highest position in our land and become President.

1 comment:

Sarah S. said...

It was a historic day! I watch the whole thing all day and was energized by it all.