Well, I can't get through tonight without blogging a bit about last night and today. I stayed up late to watch the election results and, like 52% of Americans, I was deeply moved and satisfied with the outcome! I remember when Obama gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. I'd never heard of him before, but I immediately fell in love with him, which I've never done with a politician before. He has a way of moving me. Chud bought me his book "The Audacity of Hope" for Christmas, and after the first couple chapters, I thought, "Hmm. He might be on to something here."
Through the primaries I held out hope that we might, we just very well might nominate an intelligent, hard working, community organizing black man for president. Wouldn't that just be a thrill!
Then, last night, I clutched the pillows on the couch and had flashbacks of John Kerry's election when I was so SURE he would win and then he didn't. I didn't want to get my hopes up, even though everyone was saying he was a sure shot. I waited for the numbers. At 11:00, when it was "called" by the media, I could hardly contain myself.
I know lots of republicans and I immediately thought of them. I don't care what party you belong to, I don't think anyone could help but feel proud and special as we watched the coverage last night. And I'd like to take a minute to say that I thought John McCain's speech was one of the most gracious, eloquent and beautiful speeches I've ever heard. I completely changed my mind about him last night. He does put country first. Good for him.
We talked about the election in my classroom last week. Nine year olds have quite an interesting perspecitve on the whole thing. They instinctively knew that voting for Obama because he's black is not exactly right. But they also knew that Obama promised change for them and their families. They knew that he went to law school, that he worked to change the South side of Chicago, and that he is smart, well-spoken and hopeful.
I think what I love most about this election is the implications for my students. I have a classroom full of African American boys, some of which have no fathers. These boys look up to football players and rap stars. To them, life if about making money, getting on top, being famous. And now they have a president to look up to. I know that being president is about as likely as being a football player, but Obama shows them that anything is possible. That you can have GOOD CHARACTER. You can be a lawyer, a doctor, a businessman, an organizer...a president. They now see that they can be anything. I'm so hopeful for them.
When we had our morning meeting today, I almost cried. I pictured my boys (and girls) as grown ups, as young men and women, as citizens. They are dying to be old enough to vote. They are interested in Obama and what he can do. The hope in their eyes just melted my heart and I can't wait to see what the future holds for all of them. Today their future looked a little bit brighter. A door has been opened. The possibilities are endless.
Good bless America!