My toes were frozen, but my heart was warm and full. I was standing on the National Mall, just behind the Reflecting Pool, huddled with countless other teeth-chattering citizens there to witness President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. This was history happening, once again, and I was part of it—this time live.
I wanted to be there four years earlier, giddy and cheering and sobbing like everyone else, but I was three weeks away from giving birth to my first child. A son who, like the newly re-elected president, is mixed-race. Obama’s 2008 landmark victory confirmed it: My kid, this toffee-colored boy, could grow up to be the leader of the free world, if that’s what he chose. Politics aside, this president, number 44, symbolizes so much to my little family. He’s the precedent—this president—for what it looks like to reach beyond the idea of possibilities and potential and grab hold of the fact that greatness is real, and it’s there for our children, no matter what this lopsided world might try to tell them.
I’m going to miss my POTUS and the Obama Family more than words can say. I am just so grateful to have witnessed this presidency, to have watched excellence in action. Thank you, President Obama. Thank you.