I watched, blinking back tears, as President Obama took the Oath of Office. At that point, BigBrother was still home. I hugged him as he sat on my lap, feeling a bit sad that my oldest son (let alone my youngest son) wouldn’t remember this historic day (unless something totally awesome happens at preschool). All the same, I’ll remember it. Even if you didn’t vote for Obama, you’re going to remember it. Just the Oath itself was an amazing thing to witness. And then came his speech.
Obama spoke of us today, specifically of the Fire Family. While letting us know that he is a President by and for the people, he reminded us that it is we, the people, who will ultimately change this nation (one should add, for good or not so good). And, then came the mention of our family.
It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Okay, so maybe he wasn’t speaking of FireDad, TheBrothers and me, but, well, it sure felt like it. And, let me tell you, it feels good to be recognized. Not only did President Obama tip his hat at the hard work firefighters do to protect our families and towns but he also gave a nod to every parent among us (firefighters included). After a string of hectic parenting days (as LittleBrother is teething and/or sick), I needed a nod. Respect for what I am doing feels good. It gives me all the more respect for what he is doing.
And, so then, what are you doing? What are you doing to make this nation a better place to live? I don’t care about party lines as long as you’re doing something that you believe in. 2008 was a year in which we saw people take an active, physical interest in politics; some who had never voted or cared about such things before. But political action doesn’t end with the election of a President, however historic. What are you doing to help your community? Your city? Your state? Your special interest group? Your children and your children’s children? Don’t think that now that Obama officially wears the title of President that the fight is over. If you really want to see that change take place, you’ve got to do something about it.
Us? Besides continuing the fight for adoptees to gain access to their Original Birth Certificates, we’ll be continuing to volunteer and help out with some other interests of ours. I predict some more involvement this year as I’m no longer battling postpartum depression. We’ll also be raising these boys to be the compassionate souls that we know that they are… most of the time. We’re raising them, actively participating in their learning and character forming. Getting messy in the process, like you should if you’re doing it right. See?
We painted this together (idea found on Kaboose), me and BigBrother, when he got home from school. You can see the mistakes as I let him take control after I showed him where the colors went on the design that I had pre-drawn with pen. The mistakes make it more real, don’t you think? Our new President is going to make mistakes. FireDad and I are going to make mistakes, professionally and as parents. BigBrother and LittleBrother are going to make mistakes. And yet, in doing all of this today with my children, I was filled with a sense of hope.
Hope for my children. Hope for our family. Hope for me. Hope for you. Hope for our nation. I pray that feeling continues, even through the mistakes, and that we come out the other side of this with the ability to recall and rejoice in this feeling we’re floating on right now.
Because hope isn’t a bad thing, folks. It’s just not.