Dear Nash –
Well, you were right. Barack Obama won! It was such a historical day and one that no one will soon forget and I want to make sure that you remember it so I’m writing you this letter.
After the longest campaign in history, election day finally arrived. We had planned for days that you would come with me to the polls to vote and I was proud to have you there with me and to help me with my ballot. You had been talking about the election at school and had your own election in your classroom. Up until that day, you were sure everyone would be voting for Obama. I mean, duh, he was totally going to be the next president, right? But when I picked you up after school, you told me that the girl that you have been in love with since last year voted for McCain. How could she?? We had a great discussion about opinions and why people make the choices they do and I think it opened your eyes. I think you understood that this was no shoe-in, it was going to be a race to the finish. This is where that endless knowledge of NASCAR came in handy. You know that no race is over until you get around that last corner of the last lap. Unfortunately, that last lap was going to happen well past your bedtime. So we watched as the first handful of states were called, and Barack was leading the race. You were thrilled. We tucked you in and you drifted off into dreamland while daddy and I hunkered down for the rest of the results.
During the last few weeks the World Series playoffs games were taking place and you would wake up each morning after a game and come upstairs and ask me, “Mommy, who won?”. Today you came up and asked that same question but instead of answering The Red Sox,Tampa The Bay or The Phillies, I got to say “Barack Obama”. And then you asked me what the score was.
You couldn’t wait to watch the news. We watched the Today Show and the coverage was spectacular and incredibly emotional. Electing the first African American president was historical. Ground breaking. But you don’t even understand why that is so significant. I dread the day that you do fully understand why it is but am glad you live in this world now and where even more and better change is coming!
After watching some coverage and seeing the crowd of 125,000 people in Chicago with the Obama and Biden families on stage, you asked me if you could send Barack a card and then made this.
(That says “Do you want to meet some of my friends”) And BTW, I’m totally sending this to him.
You then told me that I should buy the Salem paper because Barack would be on the cover. I told you that he was going to be on the cover of every newspaper in the whole world. You just looked at me and said “Really??”. Yes, really.
One of the many, many stories that brought me to tears today was one of a black man in Harlem being interviewed that said “Now when my son looks at me and asks ‘does this mean that I can be anything that I want to be?’ I can answer, yes it does.”
I hope you’ll have some memory of this day and if not, that this letter will bring some back because you’re gonna want to remember this one.