Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-Election

I'm tired today.  We stayed up last night to watch the election results.  It was worth the loss of sleep, but today is gray and rainy and I'm tired.

Four years ago, we went to an election party at a friend's house.  There was a great deal of food and libations and much shouting and intense discussion and a big map someone drew taped up to the wall where we colored in states as NBC news called them for each candidate.  When Obama was declared the next president of the United States, we screamed and toasted and the excitement was palatable.  It really seemed to me that America was now moving in the right direction--the direction of HOPE.  I felt patriotic--like I used to feel at the skating rink when I was a kid and they'd play that "Proud to be an American" song while flashing red and blue lights on the rink.  David and I had been joking all evening that we would only have a baby if Obama won.

Four years ago seems like a lifetime.  Enough time for two Obama-babies.  Enough time for life to turn out so differently from what I had expected.

We didn't go to a party last night.  We watched the election results while also making dinner, answering e-mails, giving the baby a bath, giving the baby "nekkid time," and doing laundry.  The distractions were welcome because we were nervous (and because Akin still got 42% of the vote--Missouri, you're killin' me!).

In the end, it was a different kind of celebration.  For Obama, I imagine, and definitely for us.  We didn't bust out champagne and pump up dance music and party into the wee hours.

Instead, we cheered quietly so we wouldn't wake up the sleeping baby, and then David switched out the laundry while I made sure the diaper bag was ready to go in the morning.  Then we crawled into bed with the TV on to try to stay awake for the speeches.

Before we went to bed, though, we looked at our sweet, sleeping little girl and hoped with all our hearts that, politics aside, things are moving in the right direction.  In every way, for every one of us.  May the next four years be peaceful, prosperous, and happy ones.  May we be able to sustain our hope.

In the words of Barack Obama, from his acceptance speech last night:


I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.


Just hanging out with our friend Claire McCaskill at the farmers' market. Don't know who that old guy is--photobomb.

Cooper is truly a political animal.

Daddy and Zuzu, getting ready to rock the vote. David wore his most patriotic tie.


11 comments:

  1. Hurray! Love the photos and the quote. Here's to hope and moving in the right direction.

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  2. I also love that quote. I am very happy with the outcome. We watched the returns in between dealing with a sad little toddler and cleaning up the dinner dishes.

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  3. Did you just happen to run into her at the Farmer's market? Love that pic!
    And don't get me started on Akin, I'm just glad he lost, there are a ridiculous # of Akin signs up (in yards, etc.) around here- gag. But he lost even in our county.

    Sheesh, I've had 3 babies since Obama won. Ad how depressing that the rainbows will be 4 and 5 next time ?! Too fast! Matthew voted with me yesterday.

    Also, FYI, if you send Caro's birth info or an announcement to the white house, they will send you a "welcome to the world baby" card signed by the president and first lady. It's nice for the baby book.

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  4. I can barely stand Illinois politics, so I understand your frustration with Missouri voters.

    Can we have any more jailed politicians? I'm just wondering.

    We were excited to rock our vote last night, even though we knew Obama would already take our state, being his homeland and all. We didn't watch the coverage because we already figured we nailed it. We did.

    Caro is cute.

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  5. Funny - I was thinking about his speech over lunch today as well and had to write about it.

    Four years ago, just a few weeks before the election, we found out we were pregnant with F after having a miscarriage earlier in the summer. I made a shirt that said HOPE on it for E, and everyone thought it was purely political, but M and I knew it had a secret meeting. F knocked on doors with me before she was even born!

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  6. If you think the Akin-McCaskill race was difficult to understand, try living in Arizona where I believe Dean and I were on the losing side of every statewide race. Peggy

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  7. I couldn't hang. Obama was taking too long and I was exhausted so I recorded it. I was hoping he would win but started getting a little worried as the election approached. CA usually votes in the way I believe is correct but all those middle if America red states freak me out! I vote by mail so i didn't actually go in. The rep for my district blows. I sent him a letter telling I was dissapointed in his environmental report card. He sent me research form the 1960s. Yeah-idiot
    Yay for more women in senate too.

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  8. I'm Canadian, so the stakes of the election aren't as high but I do remember 4 years ago when Obama was elected - I was still broken from Sam's death and could barely feign interest in the election. Hard to believe 4 years later I've had 2 more babies. Glad the good guys won.

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  9. Love the pic with Claire, that is too cool! Also love Coop's button, Bubba needs one of those.

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  10. I read your post and then Obama's speech quote and legitimately got goosebumps and almost teared up at my desk. It's crazy how life can change in moments or days or 4 years. I love the thought of retaining hope - real, difficult, vulnerable hope - throughout.

    My parents sent me a picture on Election Day of their dog with an Obama/Biden pin on her collar! Not quite "Puggles for Obama", but still another patriotic dog.

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  11. I was so relieved by the election outcome... we take a keen interest here north of the border, because so much of what happens there affects what happens here. Four more years! : )

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