Magoo came running up to me today calling, “MOM! MOM! Dad says turn on the TV. It’s Eggnog ‘n Raisin Day. So I did. AHHH! Inauguration day. I knew it was coming. I’ve been watching coverage of President Obama painting homeless shelters and hugging babies across the country on his tour towards the White House. But with all the celebrating and media events, I’d forgotten when it was actually happening.
So we kept Laylee home from school for a good part of the morning to watch the President take the oath of office. She and Magoo both watched with a level of attention I wish they could muster during church. We’ve been talking about this day for a long time and even though his name was harder to remember than McCain’s, I think she’s glad that someone with “darker skin” got elected as president for the first time. That idea thrills her. It thrills me too.
I loved watching him with his daughters, explaining what the boxes were for as he got ready to take the oath. I loved that one of them was taking pictures of him while he gave his speech. I really enjoyed his speech. If every presidency, if any presidency, could be as good as the inauguration speech, wouldn’t that be something? Maybe this one will be.
I loved that the NPR commentator felt the need to point out Oprah and her entourage and narrate her activities and shenanigans. I loved that Obama and Biden both turned in their seats to watch 4 of the world’s most amazing musicians play to them and the entire country out in the freezing cold. I loved that Dan was concerned about how the cold would affect their intonation. I was just worried that their fingers would go numb.
At one point, Obama said, “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”
I wondered if he was alluding to the fact that we may not get out of Iraq as soon as everyone hopes we will. He’s president now. It’s official. He can allude to things like that.
I love that with all his calm, poise, confidence and eloquence, his brain was exploding just enough to biff it a couple of times as he was repeating the words of the oath of office. It made me like him more. And Michelle just stood there smiling. My word, she’s an attractive and confident woman.
I enjoyed the prayers. I’m glad we can still have prayers at events like this. I especially enjoyed the imagery of “beating tanks into tractors.” I’d like to watch that happen on some bizarre military/agricultural version of Pimp my Ride.
I’m hopeful. I was not a flag-waving, bumper sticker toting Obama supporter. I’m still not. But I like him and I’m hopeful. Looking at my children, my neighbors and some of my local leaders, I know things can get better and I chose to believe that they will.