Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let Freedom Ring

I joined most of the country, if not world, today and watched the Inauguration. My oldest son's preschool lets out at 11:45. Usually, he plays on the field with his friends when I pick him up, but today I explained to him that we needed to get home to watch our new president get sworn in. He wanted to know what the president is. I told him that New York state is like his classroom, but instead of Mrs. Marinas, we have a governor. And the whole country is like his school, but instead of Sasha (the administrator), we have a president who helps make the rules, and works to make sure that everyone is taken care of and okay. This seemed to make sense to him.
We got home just as Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman were performing. Wasn't it glorious? Both of my sons sat on my lap, and were captivated. I had just started to cry, when suddenly the picture turned to black. I realized that my two year old was holding one of the many remotes that I have no idea what they do and had pushed some button and now there was nothing on the screen. Dan had Tivo'd the events before he left for work, but I really wanted to see it live. I could not figure out how to get a picture back, so I called Dan, interrupting a meeting - oops! - but if there is anything to interrupt a meeting about it is watching Obama become president. Dan walked me through, demonstrating the patience of a saint, and there on the TV was Obama giving his speech. My sons and I sat down again, though they were less interested now that the cello and violin weren't on anymore, but I adored every word. When Obama talked about how his father would not have been served at a restaurant sixty years ago, and now he here was, I started to cry. My oldest son asked me why I was crying, and I said because I am very, very happy. I hope he remembers this event. They never see me watch TV, so that alone might make it memorable enough, but I hope he remembers something of it. One of my earliest memories is when Mildred, the nanny who raised me, left. It wasn't long after Martin Luther King was shot, and Momma told me years later that Mildred just couldn't take the South anymore after that. I must have been three the afternoon she went away, but I'll never forget hugging her thin legs, and trying to keep her from leaving. She walked out the door in a blur of white from her uniform's skirt and her cigarette's smoke. All I knew was that she had to go because of someone named Martin Luther King, and I wanted to know who he was.
Five years ago, my oldest son was born on Martin Luther King day, and when he arrived, I felt that Mildred must have had a hand in it, where ever she was. I'm just so happy that the world he came into is so different from the one that she and I were in together back then.


Blogger EJ said...

he did remember - i asked him today if he watched the important man on tv on tuesday - and he said he did and we talked a little about who he is and why he is important.

so glad you shared it with them.

good to hear the reaction to the music - maybe it's time to start a little classical music exposure?


January 21, 2009 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Wow! I have no idea how you found my blog, but I was so excited to hear from you. I don't know if you found that I reviewed The Safety of Secrets awhile back. I loved it! Here is a link to my review if you didn't see it...

Anyway, I am happy to "meet" you and you can come by and visit me at my blog anytime!

February 2, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

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