Monday, January 19, 2009


I’m so excited about tomorrow! M is old enough to have picked up on the Election, and she says she is excited too. She says she wanted Hillary, but she likes Barack, and so she’s okay with it. From the mouths of babes...

We talked on the way to daycare about why it is exciting that Barack is going to be our President. I told her one of the best things – besides that he’s a good guy – is that they used to say Black men couldn’t be President. And now we’re getting one. So maybe we’ll get a woman someday soon. We agreed that would be pretty great. I want her to get the message that just because some people think you can’t or you shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean they’re right. It doesn’t mean things can’t change.

When I was a little tiny girl, Kennedy became the President. He inspired people. I was too young to remember him, but I remember the way people talked about him when I was a kid. I do remember MLK and Bobby. I remember how their assassinations and the Vietnam War took away a lot of people’s hope for the future. I remember thinking that you couldn’t count on anything. In my life at the time, that was the truth. It shaped the person I became.

I want my daughter to feel like her future is wide open. At this moment in time, she is a happy, confident, socially graceful child (and whip-smart, but that’s something else). I don’t want anything to take that away from her. I know all too well what can happen to damage someone in ways that haunt them for the rest of their life. I also know that despite my stance that “they’ll have to come through me, first,” that I can’t be everywhere and every moment. But I am very, very careful about who she spends her time with. My past gave me some gifts, one of which is a pretty strong bullshit detector and crazy radar. And I am absolutely unmoved by surface things like how much money you have or what kind of house you live in. Some of the most corrupt, nasty, soul-less people I’ve encountered in my life were physically attractive, shiny, popular, and gregarious. I don’t buy for a second the excuses that people make about the people they hang out with, either. My sister is a prime example of this. She has picked some real winners. She’s so intent on finding someone that will both take care of her and put up with her that she lets some pretty skanky people through the net. It is hard to watch. Eight years younger than me, she’s been married and divorced three times already. But she’s really more her own post, so I’ll stop there.

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