Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President!

Apparently, when Malia saw Lincoln's second inaugural speech on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial, she commented on the length.

Her dad answered her, "Malia, that's not long."

Malia looked at her dad. "First African-American president -- better be good."

He was.

The emotion felt across the world this morning was palpable. I celebrate especially with the African American community, but I really celebrate with all Americans as we can look forward to a new age.

My father and my sister have been lost to cancer. I think, more frequently than I should, about lives cut short.

I told myself this morning, that no matter what my fate or lifespan, I was privileged to see this day.

I was privileged to be able to share in this moment with millions across the globe.

"Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed."

While these words usher in the challenges ahead, we can be secure in the fact that we have a true leader.

Time to get to work. Mr. President, just tell me how to help.

I'm yours.

35 comments:

thailandchani said...

Just finished watching all of it. I was very impressed... with his speech, yes, but mostly his civility. When he escorted Bush to the helicopter, that really emphasized exactly how civil he is!


~*

Goofball said...

you've listened to his words about citizenship well. Jenn, it's people like you that make America great ! And I am happy for you today as well!

TeacherPatti said...

My students and I watched it. Before Obama took the oath, I had them look up the words so they'd have a better understanding of what he was saying.

I feel so relieved that everything went okay.

I just want everyone to be patient. It's going to take awhile to undo the damage that's been done.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Yes, Chani, his civility has been wonderful. So far, he's really doing the non-partisan thing that he promised.

Thanks so much, Goofball!

Oh, Patti, it's going to take a long while. I think that was his point.

Luisa Perkins said...

I'm also his. Well put, Jen! What a wonderful day this has been.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It has indeed. And how wonderful for our children that they can experience this excitement over an inauguration and over a president!

Sarabeth said...

What I hope is that people do help, that they do find the energy to make differences in the lives of others with even the smallest actions. So many will sit on the sidelines making comments on his governance without raising one finger.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Sarabeth, that's the thing I wonder about, too. I'm just hoping that with strength in leadership, maybe folks can be shamed, supported, whatever it will take into helping? I remember the gas crisis of the late 70s, and even though there were many who did NOT follow the guidelines, there were so many who did turn down thermostats, stayed under 55, etc., etc.

I'm hoping that just maybe we can move forward as a country.

hotmamamia said...

Just like on election day, I watched with rapt attention for nearly 3 hours and I cried...I closed my office door and just cried tears of joy listening to his extraordinary wise words...what an incredibly brilliant, caring, focused and classy man....I am proud to have lived to witness this miracle and hope that it truly changes our country and our world.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I must say I spent a lot of time crying this morning myself. At different times - certainly after the swearing in, but at other odd moments as well. I wish my dad had been alive - he would have been overwhelmed and overjoyed today.

Charity said...

Oh, Jen, I wish my dad were alive to see it too.

I streamed it at work, like almost everyone else (the network, it was *slow*).

Brittany Noel said...

such a cute story about malia! i streamed it at school with my teacher. i can't wait for the next four years. they'll be hard, but positive.

painted maypole said...

he was excellent. and I've been thinking about what work I can do as well.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

You said it Jen.

Yesterday was an emotional day.

Dingo said...

His speech gave me goosebumps and I cried a lot. What an amazing moment for all of us no matter what race or nationality. And like November, I wondered "What now? What can I do?"

Karen Olson said...

Here, here, Jen! Great post. My daughter was so excited that the school let the kids watch it. She got to see Obama here in Hartford last winter when he came before the primary. Because she's Chinese, I am so thrilled to have her see that a person of color can achieve anything these days. Although she's annoyed that because she was born in China she can never be president herself.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Charity, I'm sure your dad would have been very happy, too. How was your mom yesterday?

Brittany - let's hope so. Hard, indeed. I think we're all going to have to roll up our sleeves.

PM - WASN'T he inspiring? The way the whole day ran - just awesome. Truly.

NYC - it sure was. Did you see the clip of Beyonce through ABC? I think she summed up what a lot of us feel. Singing "At Last" and watching the interplay between the Obamas and Beyonce and the whole crowd had me in tears once again.

Dingo - indeed. If anyone can bring us together as a country, he can.

Karen - I think that's yet another of our antiquated rules that's going to have to go. I can see it being lifted by the time your daughter is eligible. Since the Europeans invaded this land, we've always been a patchwork quilt of peoples and our immigrant populations have often been our most patriotic and hardest working. The "being born here or having an American citizen as a parent" rule makes no sense to me.

Maryann said...

fingers crossed

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Maryann - indeed!

Los Angelista said...

Oh I know! It was all so wonderful and I'm so glad we all got to witness it. I pinched myself twice just to make sure it wasn't a dream.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I didn't do the pinching, but I certainly had my "is this really true?" moments. Wonderful times.

Momisodes said...

The emotion was palpable yesterday. Even through the screen of my TV. His words, the embraces, the smiles, they were all incredibly moving. What you've said here emulates how I feel in many ways. Thank you.

For the first time in many years, I feel a strong sense of hope.

jerseygirl89 said...

Beautiful post for a wonderful day.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Momisodes - me, too. It's a different kind of feeling, isn't it?

Jerseygirl - Thank you, and yes it was.

Virtualsprite said...

Yes.

Leslie said...

I watched with my girls in my lap. At one point Julia asked, "Mom, why are you crying?" I tried to explain in simple terms what an amazing triumph this day was and I just didn't feel like I was getting through. That's when it really hit me that she'll never know a world where there hasn't been a black president. And the enormity of this movement forward started to sink in. Her world view and beliefs about what is possible are expanded thanks to all this.

President Obama inspires me and gives me hope, which is exactly the kind of leadership we'll need for the challenges ahead.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Sprite - yes, we can, yes we did!

Leslie - I know - isn't that an amazing thing? I was talking with C this morning, and he hasn't been as excited as I have, and I wanted to know why. Well, he's fifteen and had 8 years of watching the Bush administration and Congressional fighting and he's pretty jaded right now.

Then I told him what had been accomplished even yesterday, and he perked up quite a lot.

The interesting thing is that the African American thing didn't hit him in the same way, because he always just "assumed" that would happen. And he's aware of racism, but it hadn't occurred to him how huge this was.

Jerri Ann said...

My two favorite quotes from The Obama Administration so far:

Malia: "First African American President...this better be good"

and

Obama: There is no more hyphenated Americans.

Amen to that sister...and brother too

Alex Elliot said...

I watched my two kids. Even though the younger one is really too little to understand it, I'm hoping it will turn into one of those memories created by hearing me talk about so much over time. I think my 5 year old will remember it on his own.

glamah16 said...

Just catching up om my reading. I love little Malia and Sasha. Its such a beautiful family. I wiss my departed loved ones could have lived to see this day too. It will be a lot of hard work and it wont bea easy.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

It's been like the holidays for me. I can't help but continue celebrating.

But I know there's a lot of work to be done. So let's not all get too comfortable.

Grimm said...

It is a truly awesome time in life right now. Here's hoping to a great 8 years!

BTW, I left a small present for you at my blog. You have truly deserved it.

Núria said...

Congratulations Sweetie! I am really happy about it too!!!! Yeah, the whole globe is celebrating! I don't think he will deceive anyone :D

Proud Italian Cook said...

Stopping by to say Hi Jen! I hope and pray that a better future will soon be here for all!

Laura said...

Let's just hope that those who are not as inspired by this occasion and Obama's presidency do not work their darndest to complicate initiatives that will serve us all well.