(Impromptu Rally on Election Night)
I'm a realist. I believe it will take a very long time for Obama to turn things around in this country. I'm prepared for failure on many fronts. But, right now...........this day........it doesn't matter. I am filled with optimism......dare I say HOPE. Once again, I am proud to be an American. We did good!
Here's how it played out in my house. The text messages were flying all day between me and my 3 kids (all voting age). Months of discussions resulted in an palpable tension on November 4th. Would they drag their asses out to the polls? Sure, they had told me they would but, I was skeptical. But, throughout the day, one by one, they began to text me from their various locations. How long were the polls open? Exactly where was the school (their assigned poll) located? How long would it take? My daughter (away at college) was the only one I felt certain would vote without any prodding on my part. Yes, yes, I know.....Illinois is a blue state. Didn't really matter if they voted at all. Obama would get our electoral votes.
That wasn't the point. I wanted them to get excited about the political process. (Who was I kidding. They only thing I've seen my boys, ages 23 and 21 get excited about was the newest beer available on tap at Millers.)
But, that did not deter me. During our discussions, I was passionate about the importance of defeating Mccain. I explained Roe v. Wade........the balance of the Supreme Court being tipped should Mccain win.
Turns out, my discussions with them traveled outside of our home. They each told me they discussed it with their friends and people at work. Turns out they were "getting off" debating Obama v. Mccain.
Yes, my plan worked.........all I had to do was plant the seed. Both boys texted me as they left the polling place. And, yeah.........I was pretty damn proud of them.
But what happened later gave me (and my husband) the chills. My daughter texted me about midnight from her dorm. She said there was a "riot" on campus. (Okay, she had my attention. I got out of bed and called her immediately.) Turns out........what she meant to say/text was there was a RALLY on campus.........an impromptu turnout of over 2,000 students. Her exact text was "theres a riot on campus and im going". That's my girl, I thought. I told her she was a "witness to history".....then added, "Be careful".
The excitement in her voice was amazing. She said she had never experienced anything like this. The students marched all over campus and ended up under the American flag singing the national anthem. Her final text to me was well after 1:00 am when finally I texted back, "I love you.......I'm going to bed. Be careful" (Again, with the "be careful" thing.)
So, now it's over. She's home for the weekend. The excitement has died down (naturally). But, she still says it was the most "awesome" experience she has ever had. She knows she was part of history being made.
And, no, I don't think she is permanently tied into the social conscience of America. I don't expect that she'll want to subscribe to The Wall Street Journal. In fact, as I type this she is watching something about Hulk Hogan's son being released from jail.
But, Tuesday night........a spark was ignited. The process that began the day I dropped her off at school in mid-August continues. She REALLY is having the "college experience" that I had hoped for.........as opposed to the one that involves a kegger EACH weekend, with ones best friend holding your hair back as you puke your guts out. That's not my girl.
And my boys? Well, I am as equally proud of them. They voted. The were "engaged" in the process. They actually listened and asked questions during the past months.
But, let's face it. It's Friday night........and their off to Millers again.