Thursday, August 28, 2008


Grayson, my sweet,

You won't remember this night. The night you danced in your brown and white jungle print glow-in-the-dark jammies to Melissa Etheridge on YouTube singing "Give Peace a Chance," (Mommy missed C-Span's early evening coverage of the Democratic convention last night while she was driving home from work and had to catch up this evening).

In many ways, it is like so many other nights in your life. You had your bath. You ate some green beans and applesauce. You whined about the teeth which are poking their way through your bottom gum (for which we gave you ibuprofen), or the intestinal distress from eating too much cantelope (for which we gave you baby simethicone). You will have your bottle later. You will fall asleep clutching your cloth diaper. You will listen to one of your many lullaby CDs, which you will turn on by yourself because all hell breaks loose if you don't.

And, yet, the world is turning all around us and tonight will be a night, I suspect, that we will one day tell you about. Tonight Barack Obama will accept the Democratic presidential election on the night so many years ago when Martin Luther King gave an historic speech at the March on Washington. Tonight an African-American man will be nominated as president of the United States, a man with hope and vision and courage. Tonight our nation makes its own brilliant history, and while you don't know it, while you won't remember it, while the most important part of your universe consists of sisters who hang on your every syllable, two fat cats and a long skinny dog, this nation will be celebrating a milestone.

I hope that you live in a world where this simply doesn't matter, in a world where, as MLK said, "people aren't judged by the color of their skin," or where it simply is not noticed. I hope that you are racially color-blind as you grow and that the sweet toddler across the street with an African-American daddy and a white mommy is not seen as anyone different than you. I hope that one day people will be horrified that a world existed in which certain people had to sit in the back seats of buses, and certain people drank out of different water fountains. I hope that you will experience life as a minority at times, so you know that there is absolutely nothing which separates us from one another and it is hard to be seen as "the other." Mostly, I hope we are creating a new world for your generation.

Your mommy truly believes that a symbol of this new world rising happens tonight in Denver, Colorado.

I love you, and I want the world for you...and for your comrades as you grow to become the next hope for America.


1 comment:

Kathy Thompson said...

My dear Christen- what touching words and I hope he does read them someday. It was a little over a year ago that I first heard Barack speak. I was debating who I was going to caucus for but as I listened to that impassioned man with tears streaming down my cheeks, I know he was the one our nation needed. A month later I heard him speak again. I had the photo I'd taken of him blown up to 8x10 and he complimented me on it as he autographed it!! "Where'd you get this photo" "I took it a month ago when you spoke at the Heritage Carousel" "It's pretty good". When you watched the footage of him on caucus night, I was in the front row behind the stage. My family and friends saw me on the news- Obama shakes Kathy's hand (I was at the end of the row) and takes the stage for his speech. It was way cool! I do hope and pray so much for his success.