Monday, January 19, 2009

But, I AM lifted up by what I can answer.



I find myself these last few days on a wave of euphoria and then shedding tears - all while watching the pre-inauguration goings on in Washington, D.C., and today celebrating the great Martin Luther King, Jr. This morning, CNN played his I HAVE A DREAM speech in it's 17 minute entirety. It was incredibly moving to hear the whole thing, and to visually see through images where our country was just over 40 years ago. You can feel the change that is coming. A movement that has come about because all of us made it happen. Inspiration in the form of another man. Tomorrow Barack Obama will become President of the United States of America. And I shall cry yet again.

Before turning on CNN this morning, I talked to BOY & GIRL about Martin Luther King, Jr. and how life was back in the 1960's. In very simple terms I tried to explain. Of all the things I said, they were most shocked by the idea of African Americans having to ride in the rear of the bus and having separate water fountains. GIRL's jaw literally dropped open, mouth agape. Stunned by what didn't even make sense to her. The beauty of this is that I could truly see in her eyes the incomprehension. As if I was talking gibberish.

But, why mommy? Why was it like that?

And, I had no answers for her.

But, I AM lifted up by what I can answer. By the images passing across our television screen, and the words of hope spoken. By the beauty of our country coming together as a community. To heal, and to make our country better. And somehow, I think that the optimism that we are clinging to, this feeling of WE CAN DO IT, cannot be far from one of Martin Luther King, Jr's dreams...



***Video courtesy of CNN -film clip: From MLK to Today by Antoine Fuqua.


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13 comments:

Angeline said...

a huge wave of emotions... *smile*

I'm so happy to hear that you explained to them... which many parents would not....

blognut said...

I had a similar conversation with The Boy. Isn't it wonderful to look at those innocent little faces that have not yet been spoiled by age, cynicism, and learned hatred? I'm trying to keep it that way.

Today is going to be a fabulous day!

Coffee with Cathy said...

What heartwarming thoughts on such a special day -- thanks for sharing.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My mother told me and my children so often about how it used to be--and in such a vivid way. I so wish she could be here to see this day.

g said...

It gives me hope for the future when I realize that children don't possess our prejudices - except when we teach them to them.

Please help us prevent teaching them our prejudices.

Kellan said...

These ARE historic and amazing times, aren't they??

Hope you have been good, J - I'm sorry I've not been around lately. Take care and I'll see you soon - Kellan

Jennifer H said...

Next, a woman in the Oval Office.

I've had goosebumps all day.

Suzanne said...

I've been watching all day, since early this morning and it is both surreal and just amazing. I'm so happy.

phd in yogurtry said...

It's very difficult, trying to explain this sort of ugliness. I have found myself not wanting to spoil my kids' untainted acceptance. But .. today is a brand new day. And like you, I've found myself crying, thankful that our country has finally got it right.

bereccah said...

my daughter and i had a similar discussion that had actually been prompted by the educational events at school that day. it was a proud moment as a parent that she has no notions of race and was concerned about the inequity of treatment. even better is that her little "group" at school is kinda like the first grade UN - Chinese, Black, Japanese, French/Jewish and her!

Rachel said...

Amen!!

Your site is beautiful. Came over through Kellan.

painted maypole said...

i remember the first time I heard and recognized racism, and how it just shocked me.

Janet said...

The Queen watched parts of the inauguration and wanted to know how she could be friends with the First Daughters. I said that she could, but they lived very far away, so we couldn't go there anytime soon. It's very true, you have to be taught to be prejudiced.

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