Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change is Here, Boys

Dear Bird and Deal,

See that little boy in the photo up there? He grew up to be president of the United States of America.

A whole new world has opened up and presented itself to us today. Your world will be much different than mine. Barack Obama will become our new president. He will be the first black president in our country's history. I voted for him for you. You, my mixed race boys who are first generation American. You, my boys who can truly grow up to be president or anything else your hearts desire. You, my boys who already have a keen interest in your world.

Bird, when I showed you pictures of the past 43 presidents you asked why there were no women. Ah, you make me proud! Then I showed you Obama's photo next to all those white faces, and you remarked that he looks different, that he looks like me, like our beloved nanny, like you, like your little brother. Then you said that we really should not say "white" and "black" because we are really "pink" and "brown." To you color carries no baggage, no hate, no judgement, no preconception; it is simply a Crayola descriptor. You didn't understand why Obama is the first black president out of all these men. I talked to you about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. We read books that captured your undivided attention, yet you could not identify with the reality that once was. I pray that you never will.

During this arduous campaign for many nights I missed tucking you into bed, I hurriedly kissed you and Daddy as our paths crossed, I was absent from the dinner table, I was high strung and on edge, I was preoccupied. I was also sleepless, filled with anxiety and hope bundled together into one tight little knot. I was concerned about your future and what my generation's legacy would be to yours. I struggled with hefty issues of race and division that I pray will not litter your world. I knocked on doors, made phone calls, planned rallies, wrote articles, researched policies, and tried to make a difference. For you. I did this all for you, my boys.

And so today, after months, weeks, days, hours of worry and time well spent, I too am spent. I am an emotional wreck. Barack Obama will be our next president. It is true. It cannot be undone. You have no idea the elation strumming through my veins as I write those simple words. He is a great man who will fix much of what is so horrifically broken in this country. He is inheriting a disaster of epic proportions. He faces no small feat, but I know he, with the help of ordinary Americans like us, can heal our wounds. I am so proud to have been but a small player in his vast army of volunteers. I hope my actions over these weeks will influence you one day when you spike the political fever and pour your own blood, sweat, and tears into a candidate you believe in.

To say this day is momentous would be one of life's greatest under statements. Today is magical, hopeful, jubilant, and I would be remiss to say, a long time in the making. We not only watched history unfold before us from a front row seat, we rolled up our sleeves and put our our hands in the pot that cooked up this great day. We, along with millions of others, made history. When you read about this in high school one day, you can say that you were there, that your mom and dad got calloused feet, hoarse voices, and paper cuts galore to have the priviledge of supporting Barack Obama. You will have mountains of campaign memorbilia that I have tucked away for you. You will have photos and videos and newspaper clippings. You will say that your Nani shook Obama's hand in Berlin. You will realize that history is more than a textbook; it is a story.

America, the country in which you were lucky enough to be born and the country that Nani and Dadu adopted as mine, has made me proud. I have learned that legions of organized people fighting a battle based on justice, advocacy, and liberty will prevail. I have learned that a little idealism goes a long way. I have learned that great men and women walk among us. I have learned to turn the other cheek. I have learned that the power of one makes a big difference. I have learned that being driven by values and emotions is a fine way to go through life. I have learned that good guys win. I have learned to savor the moment. I have learned the taste of victory, victory for us as a nation.

Barack Obama, the man we have revered and watched and supported will be the first president you remember. Oh, what a magnificent start to your civic memory!

Bird and Deal, I am humbled this day. I am proud, exuberant, hopeful. Do you remember when we sang Woody Guthrie's song in church the other day and read the storybook of those famed lyrics? "This land is your land..." Well, my boys, it's true. Woody Guthrie got it right.

I love you to the moon and back again. Or as Deal likes to say, I love you to Obama and back again.


Check out these other posts. If you've written a post about your emotions and reactions to Tuesday's historic election, please leave a link in the comments.

Leslie Morgan Steiner
Morningside Mom
Queen of Spain
Pundit Mom
'Nother Yankee in Raleigh
DC Urban Dad
Mom 101
A Mom Two Boys
Mommy Pie
Change is Here, BoysSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Anonymous said...

Nice Post, thanks for sharing your letter. They will look back at that and really appreciate it.

Kevin said...

I enjoyed your letter to your boys, I hope the medium persists for them to read this in a few years, OK, more than a few, they are so young. I have come to really enjoy your writing over the last few months. My baby is grown, we talk about some of these things but it's not the same as having such enormous events happening while they are so young.

I look forward to a few things in the next few months then years. One of them is how people like you and I can share our experiences as we continue to put our minds, hearts, feet and fingers into the change we seek.

I look forward to seeing how the machine that the Obama campaign built to communicate directly to people like me is turned to fulfilling the election promises.

As much as all of these things I look forward to time spent virtually, or in real life spending some time with friends I've made recently, it's been great!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post.

I hope everyone, regardless of who they supported, can appreciate how amazing the past 24 hours have been.

I look forward to the next 4 years.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

That was a beautiful letter! I admire and thank you for all the time and effort you contributed to Obama's campaign. Last night as I watched the results come in, I paid close attention to North Carolina. So happy to see that your efforts paid off!

landismom said...

Great post. I am truly grateful that the world has changed so dramatically for my children and yours.

Anonymous said...

Honey that was an amazing post. I also did a post at Truthful Politics. I'll link below...

Anonymous said...

You are raising some kick ass men. Your boys are extremely lucky to have you as their mom.

Anonymous said...

This was such a touching post. Thank you.

San Diego Momma said...

I love reading these happy post-election posts. Above all, it's nice to see people have hope again.

The Over-Thinker said...

Ilina--this is your best BEST post to date.

I experienced chills when I watched his speech. I experienced chills when I read your letter.