We did it. CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC just called the election for Obama. (You may notice FOX is missing.) We're all taking our first deep breath since 8:00. By "all" I mean Jen and me, and all the people we've been texting and Facebooking with all night. I wasn't at all sure how this election would go.
Facebook today was not as bad as I'd expected. The only really ugly thing was a caricature of Democrats that, among other things, said we all got our feeling hurt easily. In my reply I chose not to say that, if that were true, the post would certainly have reduced me to tears. Most of my friends were willing to laugh about our differences today; there was a lot of good-natured kidding. It is good to know that we love each other no matter how we vote. And vote we all did!
I miss being able to watch it with you tonight, but am so glad Jen is here. Jethro's political opinions aren't very well-developed. I remember in 2007, when we realized that the next inauguration would be on your birthday, you said that what you wanted for your birthday was the inauguration of our first black president. Well, I contributed and worked, and you got your birthday wish. (you're welcome!) As we watched that election night together, the historical enormity of what I was seeing finally dawned on me. I liked Obama for his brains, integrity, and compassion - I would have voted for him it he'd been green with purple spots. But I was born the year Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, lived in the Deep South during the time of the Till murder, saw the Freedom Riders come, and had lived to see the election of a black president. I'm sure you remember the moment that it hit me - I bawled for the rest of the night.
And you were very nice about it. You were always nice about my Southernness. Sometimes you didn't understand, but you never required that I be understandable to you. The best way to express it is that you understood that you couldn't understand. And I thank you for that - for giving me the freedom to not be you. You could respect what you didn't understand. So of course I adore you.
I don't know what date Inauguration Day will fall on, but it will be close to your birthday - consider this part of your birthday present. I love you so, so much. Sleep well tonight!
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