January 21, 2009


Yesterday afternoon when the two little kids from up the street came over, I was still watching the inauguration day events on TV. They crowded into the boys’ bedroom with me (that’s where our television is) to watch the parade. Little Biker Boy was bursting with the new stuff he had learned at school that day.

“Barack Obama!” he yelled the name proudly, as if he’d been practicing it. “Barack. Barack. We have a new president.”

He looked at me importantly, “Our first brown president.”

He was fascinated with the Secret Service men we could see on the television screen. Ponytail, who is only four, looked on wide-eyed as we talked about the role of the Secret Service in keeping our new president safe. It was obvious that whatever his teacher had said had made an impression.

The talk made me nervous as I looked at the screen, and I felt relieved when our new president and his wife got back into their vehicle.

“Did you hear of Martin Luther King Something?” Little Biker Boy asked.

“Martin Luther King, Jr.” I said.

“Someone killed him.”

“I know,” I said quietly. “I remember. I was about your age.”

He looked startled.

After a few minutes, the two little kids disappeared downstairs. When I came down to check on them, they were marching around the living room, smiling and waving, as if they were the President and First Lady while Shaggy Hair Boy played "America the Beautiful" on the piano.

“I could be president,” said Little Biker Boy. Ponytail piped up, “Me too!” When it got dark, I walked them back to their trailer, and they marched down the middle of the road, practicing their royal waves the whole way.


Rana said...

That "me too" made the tears well up.

*royal waves at jo(e)*

liz said...

I'm completely verklempt now.

BlackenedBoy said...

Very cute, especially the part about our "first brown president."

Pie is too young to really understand the significance of that.

His presidency really does mean a lot, and the threat of assassination has haunted me.

I've been praying for him and his family at night.

jo(e) said...

BB: Me too.

susan said...

I get teary every time I think about what it means for the kids of American to look to Obama as their president.

kathy a. said...

yeah, susan. i still keep finding myself reaching for the kleenex.

jo(e) -- what a lovely post. thanks for sharing your conversation with the neighbor kids, and all the details! little biker boy has a wonderful teacher, is my guess. not to mention, a wonderful set of neighbors.

i was 6 when JFK was shot; 11 when we lost RFK and MLK; grew up with the vietnam war playing out for years on the nightly news. my own kids were old enough on 9/11 to be shaken to their bones.

this was a day as earth-moving as those, but for once, the tears are all joy.

landismom said...

Sooo sweet. I love the reaction of the littlest kids to this.

And totally makes me tear up, when I think that this is their normal.

Jodie said...

I think it is awesome that the only TV set you have in your house is this little dinky undignified thing it the boy's room.

It explains allot.

Make sure your kids understand what the secret to their happy childhood really was.

That and a really cool Mom.