I remember wincing when Reagan spoke during his later years, and for the life of me I can't remember a single thing he said in an inaugural address.
Not so my sons Henry and Oliver, and the experience they are having as kids growing up during the Obama years. They are at once nonchalant about his race and the enormous gains that his presidency represents and enamored of his cool eloquence, his smile, and his beautiful children the exact same age as they. They know he supports the gay parents of their friends, and that his health plan will help families of children with disabilities like theirs. They know that he not only believes in global warming but that he is (however belatedly) pledging to do something about it.
We watched the inauguration all morning, and while my eyes teared up again and again, finally spilling over at the ringing words of his address, both Henry and Oliver took it in stride, enjoying the music and even the wonderful poem that the openly gay, Cuban-born and American-raised Richard Blanco read in a Billy Collins'-like incantatory tone
You guys are so lucky and blessed to be coming of age during this time, I said to my boys, proudly. This man is our President and he represents what is good about our country, what our country should be proud of -- you're lucky that when you look back on your childhood, he will be the man that you remember as our country's leader.
You know, I realize the inauguration used far too much corporate money, and I've never been one to appreciate splendor or fawn over celebrity, but I do revel in the words, and I heard them as authentic and true and resolved. I can't pretend to know whether things will unfold as the President wishes them to, but I can hope they do, and I can sure as hell impress upon my children that the ideals spoken of yesterday are the right ones, the honorable ones, the ones that their father and I espouse and support.
Reader, what did you think of the President's address and if you are conservative and dislike the President, what did you tell your children?