This Inauguration Day really has multiple meanings for me. One of the first sights I witnessed on the television this morning was the massive sea of people gathered on the National Mall awaiting their first glimpse of our new president. Later, I was briefly moved to tears (hormones may have played a role) by the cheers from the massive crowd at the mere sight of President Obama emerging from the morning prayer service. Again, a pan across the sea of people, many waving American flags. While I know there are many who will disagree, it felt in that moment as if our country had become unified in a way that we haven't seen since September 11. It was a beautiful, hopeful moment that I think will stay with me for a long time to come.
One thing I have yet to see live, however, is the actual event itself. This morning I had to seize one last opportunity to get out and shop unencumbered. I was invited to Bloomington to do some shopping with Rebecca, who understood my cabin fever after spending six days at home with her two little ones during the recent Arctic snap we had in our area. Thankfully, the technological age in which we live will allow me to watch as much coverage of this historic event as I please. After some more house cleaning, I plan to sit down and watch our new President's swearing in and inaugural speech.
Since waking up the day after the election in November, I've been thinking a lot about what this day would mean to me. Because yesterday was my due date, my first thought was that my daughter could be born on the day that Barack Obama was sworn in as President. While that will most likely not be the case (unless I have a miraculously quick labor), the fact that she will be born this week feels very special.
"Change" has been the theme for so many months now, through the campaign and leading right up to today. While I am certainly not moving into the White House, this theme really resonates with me. Within 48 hours, I will be holding my little girl... and life will NEVER be the same again.
And I suppose that's why today feels so special to me. We have come so far as a nation, that we have elected a man who would not even have been allowed to vote a few decades ago. A man who openly recognizes that in most countries, his story would not even be possible. He has inspired a nation in ways that many could not have imagined, and brought hope to those who have felt as though they have largely been ignored. And this is the world I will bring my daughter in to. Isabelle Kay Shivers will be able to say that she was born when Barack Obama was president, and hopefully, that will mean almost as much to her as it does to the rest of us.
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