I will never call myself an organized thinker. This blog is never going to be “that” blog that people come to for insight. But I have to say a couple of things about seeing and hearing what I have heard from various speeches this week at the DNC. And know that I will be up way too late tomorrow night working because I will be watching Obama speak.

Four years ago I felt panicky that Bush would be re-elected. I actually cried tears when Kerry lost. I felt physically sick. I couldn’t fathom 4 more years of… I don’t even know what to call it. It puts me at a loss for words. Eight years ago I was living in Texas with GWB as governor. Every time I saw him speak, it made me cringe. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I couldn’t listen to him because it felt physically painful to me – and not in the way where you were hearing things that you knew in your gut were true but weren’t ready to accept. I tried to be optimistic when he won the presidency. I wanted it to not be as bad as my gut was telling me it was going to be. I had hope that it would be okay. This is how I feel about McCain winning in November. Same sinking, defeated, frightening feeling.

Now, and for the past 6 or so months, I have listened to what is being said by Obama, the Clinton’s, McCain, and all the others out there who wanted to be president. My gut is telling me that there is HOPE. My girls might have a chance to live in a world where our president actually seems to care about “the people”. A world where those who are different than us can still be respected even if we don’t agree with them.

I hesitate IRL to talk politics because many of my beliefs are strong, but I know that when I am challenged to my core that I get emotional and I don’t put up much of a fight. I don’t think well on my feet. I also know many who are wonderful people who have different beliefs than I do, but I enjoy their company as we don’t discuss “those” issues. I want to continue to like them, and I know that if hear the polar opposite of some of my beliefs that I will always look at that person and have trouble looking beyond that difference. Call me shallow or petty or whatever – I’m just being honest. ****

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before. I was raised in house where my parents, especially my father talk about respecting those around you. When I was a pre-teen and teenager I heard my dad talk about being at work (he was close to the top of the totem pole) and knowing that those who worked for him were just as important as he was, because without them the actual work wouldn’t get done and he wouldn’t have a job. He always spoke with common sense and logic. I reprimanded him for this not too long ago because he is in the minority in our culture. I expect that same level of honesty, integrity, logic, and common sense from the community at large. More often than I would like, I am disappointed because so many can’t live up to that expectation. I jokingly say that this is why I work at home and do school at home. The less I have deal with those types of people, the better for my blood pressure. So my view on life is a little skewed, I guess. (Although, I’d rather have a sense of logic and common sense and “isolate” myself than be one of “them”.)

In B’s Social Studies course last year there was a bit on 9-11. I remember vividly sitting in a hotel room in Boise, Idaho and turning on the TV only see the towers smoking and moments later seeing the first collapse. I was holding B, who was just 10 months old at the time, and thinking OMG. (T was active duty Air Force, and my mind went to him and the fact that he needed to call his unit and see if our vacation was going to be cut short or not.) So trying to explain to B about this bit in history, which she lived through but has no memory of, I choked up. She asked me why I was sad. I explained as best I could about that day and how we got to where we are today as a country.

It came up again this afternoon when I was giving M her intro to Social Studies and all the different parts of it. We talked about geography, culture, economics, and history as being part of Social Studies. We’ve had the talk about how in the US we have certain freedoms that people in some other countries don’t have, like girls being able to go to school. She was rightfully appalled. She, on her own, told me that that wasn’t right and that someone from our country should go to that country and tell them that they are wrong and make it so girls and boys can go to school. It was ironic that she hit the nail on the head so squarely. I explained to her as simply as I could for a 5yo that different cultures believe different things. I asked her if someone decided that TV was bad and that no one should watch it, would it be right if they came into our house and took our TV just because they thought it was bad? She immediately said, “but it’s my house, and someone else shouldn’t tell us we can’t watch TV just because they don’t like it.” “Exactly, so unless a country is doing something very wrong like hurting their people, we should respect the differences in culture.” Don’t get me wrong, I believe that everyone should have the right to get an education. But this conversation was so perfect for where I see our country now.

So it goes back to Hope. I put it with a capital “H” because it feels that big to me. Barack Obama inspires Hope, and I think with that he can help lead us to a place of optimism. My gut tells me this is so, and I have to believe it.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by anniemcq on August 29, 2008 at 5:01 am

    oh, Amen, sistah. JH was 10 months old when 9-11 happened, and I was sitting in his room, holding him, trying so hard NOT to feel afraid because Bush was our president.
    You are doing such a great job as a mom, being very fair minded in the way you explain things. But it’s true isn’t it – kids have more common sense than a lot of grown ups. I love that it would never cross my son’s mind that he is better (or worse) than someone else because of the color of his skin.
    It feels so good to have Hope again, doesn’t it?

  2. Posted by Living In a Girl's World on August 29, 2008 at 5:23 am

    It feels grand!

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