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.