I was going to title this post "Yes We Can" but then I imagined about 8 billion other blog posts with the same title and thought - no. You deserve better then that.
It is 3am. I am wide awake. My stomach is doing flips. It may be the election, or the celebratory drinks, or the deep fried chicken wings, or maybe the Mongolian Beef. Whatever. I'm up, and I'm thinking.
This is about us - not the election. Don't get me wrong, the election was a big part of our lives. But recently, issues at home took precedence over whatever was going on politically in this country.
As it should have.
I am a big believer in taking care of family first, which may be the biggest reason why I could not ever consider supporting the McCain ticket, no matter my political beliefs. I believe that if you have things going on at home (like the Palins do right now with their oldest daughter and youngest son in particular, and all of their children by extension) that you need to stop, and focus all of your attention on your family. Because ultimately, if all is not well at home, everything else WILL be affected.
After things got bad (really, really, profoundly bad) around our house, 2 days ago there was a confrontation, some tears, and ultimately, communication. We reached across the aisle, so to speak, and worked some shit out. Said our piece. Heard what the other had to say. Apologies were made and accepted on both sides. Love was proclaimed. Faith was indeed renewed. My life began to heal, my marriage to come back together, coincidentally at the same time as our nation was doing the same. Maybe we were inspired by the efforts of those around us, by the positive thoughts people were putting out there into the universe. Emotions were running very very high here at home, and thank god we saw the same positive outcome in our relationship as we saw in the polls.
"Yes We Can" today has a lot more meaning for me then just a political catch phrase. it is now intrinsically tied to the success and strength of my marriage. because we proved that we can weather the greatest of storms - political AND personal. We really, really can.
As we listened first to McCain (and you know, I think it was one of the best and most inspiring speeches of his career) and then to our President-elect, I was just so damn glad we were all together, the four of us, on our little loveseat, watching history. OK, well, Lucy wasn't. She was on the floor squealing, wrapped in a blanket, trying desperately to get our attention. But I digress....Nothing was going to take away from that moment. I was proud to be American, and to share the moment with my kids - whether they were mesmerized by Obama (Max) or being totally obnoxious (Lucy), I hope they will remember tonight. As I sat there, I remembered past elections, and knew that this time, this night, was the best of my life as a citizen and as a voter.
During the 2000 debacle of an election, I spent a lot of time in labor and delivery, in the very last stages of a difficult pregnancy. I was admitted to the hospital twice between the first of November and Max's eventual arrival 6 weeks later. The first time was on the day after the actual vote. I watched people holding ballots up in the air and squinting, with an oxygen mask strapped to my face, and a fetal monitor stretched around my belly. I was having some serious doubts about bringing my child into a world where the United States of America was still having trouble COUNTING. The mask allowed me to curse loudly and freely, without anyone really understanding what I was saying. The nurses would come in periodically where I lay prone, eyes glazed over, huffing through contractions, watching CNN. They would check the electoral map, look at my blood pressure, read the printout from the fetal monitor, and suggest that I switch the channel to something a little less intense. Fat Fucking Chance. It was a long 6 weeks, both for our family, and for the country.
During the 2004 election I was hopped up on fertility drugs, and simultaneously going through (undiagnosed - that came much later) menopause. Picture how much fun THAT must have been. So for the second time, I watched a totally fucked up election while I was trying to bring a child into the world, bloated and miserable, stuck with needles on a near-daily basis.
The irony is not lost on me.
My sister in law will be giving birth to my little niece in the next few weeks, and I am so glad that she is bringing a baby into a world that can finally hold what appears to be a valid election, no matter who was elected. And into a world where our President-elect truly did have a MANDATE. And yes, I am glad she will live in a time where a black man can be elected president, where a woman can be so close to the vice-presidency, and that neither of those demographic, sociological facts were really a huge issue for most voters.
I hope to god that Obama walks the walk he talked so well. He has the whole world in his hands today, and for the next four years. He will need to be gentle and firm. His parenting skills will be put to the test - extended to all of us - he will have to parent this nation through a very difficult period of time. Like Junior High. But with more fighting and sex and drugs and negotiations.
I hope his new puppy doesn't crap all over the White House.
13 hours ago