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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historic day

Today, like a good portion of the world, I watched the 2009 Inauguration. Unless you've been secluded on your own personal island without any access to what's going on in the world, then you know the 44th president, our first black (say African America here, if you prefer) president was sworn in.

President Barack Obama.

It was an amazing moment to witness. I was awe struck, proud, thrilled and encouraged, and I have renewed hope for my children's future.

Besides the actual ceremony and accompanying activities, one of my favorite parts of the day was sharing it with my children. Particularly my 3-year-old daughter Amareah. I already knew the two middle children's school was going to be watching the inauguration during the day so I was prepared to hear about it when I picked them up this afternoon.

I asked my son, Andre who's 5, if he watched the inauguration. He said yes and was none too enthused. When I walked into Amareah's room she rushed toward me and said, "Mommy come look!" She pointed to the television where they were still watching the coverage and I asked her if she enjoyed watching it. She said yes.

I've been waiting for this day. Not just for a black president, but to be able to share something like this with my children. She began talking about "Present Obama," which is how she normally says his name, since she found out he was running for president.

She recognizes his voice on the radio, knows his face on television and magazines and shows true interest in this man who most of us are all looking to to change our country. She's excited by what's happening in the world around us, and I can't help but pick up on her excitement.

She's learning about First Lady Michelle Obama too. Today, when I asked her if she knew who that was - pointing to the lovely lady clad in gold on the television - she said that's "the Present Obama's girl."

"His wife?"
"Yes."
"She's the first lady," I explain.
"First Lady?"
"Yes!"

And she smiled.

She has so much awareness for a child her age (she'll be 4 years old tomorrow!) and I hope she rubs off on her older brother and her younger sister. For now, her older sister and myself smile proudly as Amareah watches what's happening and we talk about the more specific details over her head.

I look at two of my daughters - at all of my children - and try to remember that this is not a dream. That we finally see a person who looks like us in the Oval Office. That we've reached a time of true change. I can look at my children and realistically say, "Amber, Andre, Amareah, Anna: You can be whatever you want - even President of the United States."
*AP Photo/Rob Carr
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