It is with great pleasure that I share with you the events of my afternoon. I loaded up the kiddos and my two home-made signs to head to a friend’s house so we could all walk to the debate on the Belmont Campus in Tennessee. I was psyched!
Then it started raining. Pouring, really. And then throw in a little thunder – we never made it out of her living room. Both my friend and I would have gone in the rain, no question, but the cold, cold rain was not going to do our young children any favors. The last thing I wanted was to be home the rest of the week with sick little ones. So we decided to pass and watch it on TV. Then I loaded up my two and we headed back home. I was depressed.
Then I decided to drive by and see what the crowd was like because the sky cleared and it looked promising again, though much later than we had anticipated. I drove within a block and a half, found a parking spot and considered it all meant to be.
Maggie, Nicholas and I marched (Nick strollered) down to the debate site and walked down “Issue Alley”. Obama signs, T-shirts and supporters were everywhere. There were a few McCain/Palin signs scattered and a booth or two, but hands down it was an Obama event. At least 90% Obama, if not more. It was awesome.
Maggie loved it. “This is so cool. You had a good idea to come here. I like the free stickers. Where is Barack Obama?” She was on a roll.
We got to step onto the C-Span bus for a tour of how they tape segments and broadcast from the bus. It was pretty cool.
Then we made our way up the hill and around the corner to where Chris Mathews was broadcasting live. We couldn’t quite wiggle up close enough to be on TV and I was afraid to tell Maggie to squirm to the front for fear I would never see her again. So we hung back, I got some pictures of the kids with their signs, and I peeked over the crowd to catch a few blinks of Mathews. Others enjoyed our signs as well and we posed for a few pictures.
Then we wandered back the way we came to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. As we walked past the Planned Parenthood tent a nice woman raised a basket she had been holding out. She was keeping it from Maggie and my interest was piqued. I glanced over the top of the basket and it was full of condoms. We all laughed. Stickers for the four-year-old girl, but no condoms, yet. She’s not in kindergarten, after all, when she will begin “sex education” — hah.
Then it was time to go and we made our way back to the car. I would have loved to stay, but the kids were getting hungry and we needed to hit the road. I patted Maggie on the back and said “Someday when Barack is the President, you can say you were here the night he debated John McCain.” I actually got choked up.
I am the type of person who can look in control on the outside while falling apart on the inside. Then when the crisis is over I get emotional. When my husband was having a major surgery, I managed to keep it together. When they said he was fine, I bawled like a baby. I think most people in the waiting room probably thought I had gotten bad news. It was just such a relief that he was OK that I could let loose. I had that same feeling today. Hopefully not prematurely, but I almost cried with relief on the way home. Bush is almost behind us. There is hope for the future. Yes we can!!