Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sasha and Malia
This morning I watched President Obama's swearing in ceremony live via Hulu with a very sick Queen Teen on my lap. I cheered and wiped her nose in between pointing out various people and images on the computer screen. I explained that what we were seeing on the screen was happening at that very moment in a place called Washington DC, as far away from us as New York City.
"Wow, that's a long way away," she said.
"Yep. It's pretty amazing we can watch what's happening right now on the other side of the country."
Although I reminded her how important this occasion was, that not only was a new president about to be sworn in, but the first BLACK president was being sworn in, she was a little bit bored with the whole thing. A blurry view of crowds, more blurry, mostly white faces in the official bleachers, banter from the commentators... and then Sasha and Malia arrived!
"Look! Those are President Obama's children. Shasha is about the same age you are."
Queen Teen sat up straighter and peered at the screen as the First Daughters arrived and took their seats in the front row. "Wow."
"Yeah. Isn't it neat. They're going to live in the White House with their parents. Can you imagine what it would be like to have your dad be president?"
She nodded and stared at the girls. "That's cool."
Then it was more boredom as more people she didn't know arrived, until Michelle Obama entered. I pointed at the screen. "That's their mom, Michelle."
"Pretty. I like her dress." Mrs. Obama wore bright yellow, a color my daughter has no trouble seeing. "Where are the girls?"
As past presidents and vice presidents and George Bush arrived, Queen Teen wiped her nose repeatedly and drank her juice. Then at last Barack Obama entered. I bounced in my seat excitedly and cheered.
"There he is! That's our new president!"
She squinted at the screen and smiled. "Cool."
"Remember we've never had a black president before. When I was a baby, a black child couldn't play with white children in some parts of the country."
She scowled. "That's silly."
"I know! And now we have a black president! And not only that, he's smart and knows how to be a president. I think he's going to be great."
Queen Teen nodded and smiled. Then she peered at the computer screen again. "Where are the girls."
She didn't stick around for the ceremony. When it was obvious the girls wouldn't be shown again, she hopped off my lap with her tissue box and went back to her room to play. Presidents are boring when you're thirteen. But Sasha and Malia, THEY are rock stars.