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.