It was even better than I hoped. I drove to pick up my kids at school, and cringed as we left the elementary office, as the secretary's computer was playing the inauguration and Obama walked onto the platform.
We hurried, and I called Dustin (who is home ill) to see what was happening. He said Obama was indeed there, but they were not starting yet. We made it home in time for the invocation! Always odd to me that a prayer be read, but so be it, it was still beautiful. The boys, sensing my urgency, even hurried in from the car, leaving backpacks there.
And then we watched.
I spoke to Z numerous times and finally made him sit on the couch. I would have let him play, but his toy of choice was the Fisher-price Garage, and his use was moving the noisy elevator up and down, so we couldn't hear.
Other than him, they were mesmerized. I panicked when, after Biden's oath, the comment was made that Obama had been president for 4 minutes, then I realized they meant because noon had come and gone. Tears were in my eyes as Obama, the first black president of the united States of America, said, "So help me God." I applauded. And then we listened, intently, all of us, to the hope that God wants all of us to hold to. I was pleasantly surprised to hear our president speak so candidly of the new beginning, not feeling any reason to mince words with the former president sitting right there. His speech was encouraging, uplifting, and at one point I uttered aloud, "Go ahead and say it..." though he didn't. His encouragement to the individuals of our nation was to take example from our men and women overseas, and seek not for the good of the individual, but for the greater good. Be willing to make simple sacrifices in order to ensure that our neighbors have enough. I heard the words of J.F.K. ring in my ears, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
It's a turn from the selfish to the selfless. It's not about your education and your hard work that you think should result in your glory. It's about the learning and work of the nation, that should result in the glory of a nation before God. Nobody will care, when all is said and done, if John Q. Ordinary died with a million in the bank. What will matter, in my opinion, is what the generations after his will think of us one when they look back at us from the future. Will they see us as self-centered gluttons who ate our own feet? Or will they see us as one nation, united in purpose, striving for the greater good of all mankind, even a nation of King Benjamins working together to serve each other and serve God.
With leadership like Barack Obama, I have hope they might see us as the latter.