Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I like fresh starts. New beginnings.

I know that no inauguration can truly usher in a fresh start... there are always problems and triumphs, expectations and assumptions that carry over from one term to another. But regardless of who we each voted for in November, today is a new day.

President Obama will place his hand on Lincoln's bible and he will declare his loyalty to the nation... a nation that is once again interested in politics, a nation that is both hopeful and hurting, a nation that will be watching with an eagle eye for every misstep and every success he garners over the next four years.

I know that, with all of the historical implications, I should be thinking of something profound to say in this post as Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. I should probably have something at least slightly intelligent to say about politics and social programs...

But what I keep thinking is this: I'm kind of excited to have little kids in the White House.

I know, I know! Don't hate me for being so superficial. But there is something so humanizing about watching a young family in the midst of the power and craziness. I've always loved the stories of Caroline and John-John during the Camelot years... seeing photos of them in the Oval office or riding horses in the back lawn. There's something  relatable about kids and family that provide little moments of reality and spontaneity.

I was reading some coverage about the train ride the Obama family took this week, following the same route as Lincoln, and smiled at the surprise birthday party the little girls threw for Michelle when she got back on the train. They had strewn about streamers and balloons and made homemade signs... and were squealing with delight and anticipation when they ushered their mom in with a hand over her eyes to surprise her with what they had accomplished.

Yes, their dad is going to be President. Yes, they are going to be living in the most historical building in our country. But with streamers and balloons they are keeping everyone in check with a simpler reality. Great moments in our nation's history are about to be made. Power struggles will occur, good choices and bad choices will inevitably be implemented, and we all will have a myriad of opinions about every bit of it. I have hopes and fears about it all just like the rest of you, but personally, I'm going to let myself enjoy the superficial moment of a little family embarking on an enormous journey.

And I'll be praying for wisdom, compassion and fortitude for the President and all who have his ear.


  1. i appreciate your perspective...

    my life is such a whirlwind right now that i feel a bit oblivious to the fact that this monumentally historic event is going on in our nation. i mean, obviously i'm aware of it. i'm just not thinking about it.

    that sounds so much lamer outside my brain than it did inside it.

    anyway... all i want to say is appreciate the reminder of good things to look for in the moments of tomorrow and in the coming year(s).

  2. Somehow the children there make him real. They make him approachable and accountable.

    I love your post.

  3. I'm pretty excited about today. Glad to be alive to see it. And I'll join you in praying for our new president...also, kids in the White House will be a wonderful diversion in the midst of all that governing! (Also can't wait to see a puppy in the White House!)

  4. Along with you, I will be praying for our new president and the leaders of our nation.
    As I just said in a comment over at Tatersmama, I'm afraid that too many people, are expecting too much, too soon.
    I did not vote for Barack Obama, but I pray that he will lead this country with the help and guidance from the whisperings of God.

  5. I pray for the new president too, and for his family as well. I can't help but be a little scared and sad for those little girls as they embark on this journey. They're so young, have just moved 1/2 way across the country, and are going to live the next 4 (possibly 8?) years in the national spotlight. A great experience, no doubt, but a life-changing one as well!

  6. Yes, its all about the kids, the puppy, and the prayers for the President! Nicely done Gitz. Not superficial... its hard to convey the meaning of the events of the day with sufficient words. At least it is for me :)

  7. There is nothing superficial about you have so heart-warmingly and beauitfully said. I have to agree with you - and I am not even American. I am watching it on the TV at the moment and seeing the sea of people bringing in new found hope and change is simply - amazing! I can tell your proud to be an American - it is certainly a new day :) X.

  8. I love this post!! I keep thinking that too!! Those little girls are so cute!!

  9. Me too - the girls in the White House I mean. AND, let's not forget ----- they are going to get a PUPPY!!

  10. You are right that having a family, with kids running around the home, even if it is the White House, does make it easier to relate to the Obama's as another American family. The thing we see is how much love and joy this family shares.

    It must also be very cool to have a limo, with special agents, bring you to school. I kinda doubt any of the school bullies with bother them.

  11. I'm in agreement with you on the kids in the white house thing. I mean really. Won't the East Egg Roll event be more fun with kids? I'd actually think it was kind of cool if they added another while living there. A whole gaggle!

    I hadn't heard about the birthday party. How cute.