For my kid’s sake, would not have missed the inaugural

The millions (billions?) of people gathered around their televisions on Tuesday had their eyes on President Barack Obama.

I was watching the little chair next to me.

Because I rushed out of work on Tuesday morning and hightailed it to nursery school. I wasn’t going to let my little girl miss this part of history.

People have scoffed at me, told me I never would have made the effort if it weren’t for this president in particular.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe I wouldn’t have picked her up early. Maybe I wouldn’t have driven quite so fast to get home. I would have dawdled at the post office, perhaps, or stopped off at the hardware store on an errand on the way home.

But what happened on Tuesday wasn’t just about Barack Obama.

It was about installing the man who will be my daughter’s president for the next four years. She needed to see it.

Kids need to see the inauguration – every inauguration.

Part of making sure they turn out to be adults capable of taking over the stewardship of our nation is making sure they understand the process.

It’s making sure they see the peaceful transition of power, the hundreds of thousands lined up on the mall cheering.

It’s ensuring they hear the new president offer up the simple words “to the best of my ability,” as he takes his oath, reminding us all that he is a human being first.

It’s reminding our kids that jobs like mine are possible because of the guaranteed freedoms of our country – including the freedom of speech that allows people to show up on the mall to celebrate or to protest and allows me to write this column every week.

Unfortunately, I heard parents around the country pulled their kids out of school last Tuesday not to celebrate but to ensure their kids wouldn’t “be subjected to” the inauguration coverage in their schools.

I wonder if those parents put their kids to bed that night truly hoping the next four years will pass by in the flash of an eye.

Because, in four years, a lot will happen.

In four years, my pre-schooler will be an elementary schooler.

She will be losing the baby teeth that have just finally finished coming in.

She will have outgrown all the clothing in her dresser – and likely the pile of hand-me-downs in my attic.
She will have abandoned the tricycle for a two-wheeler, the Duplos for Legos.

Four years will pass faster than any of us want them to, and it will be time to sit down once again in front of a TV screen to watch an inauguration – maybe of the same man, maybe of another, maybe of a woman.

I just hope the little chair beside me is filled with a bigger version of that little girl, helping me take in history.

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Comments

  1. OH MY how I agree. Yes I will admit that I took more interest in this inauguration because it is History making. Good/bad it will be a part of our American history & to deprive kids of seeing how our system works deprives them of a piece of their education. It does make you wonder what the same people will do for 4 years OR more…..Kudos for sitting your little one next to you to take it all in!Melissa Smith

  2. Aloha! We didn’t make it but Princess watched it with us from here. She chimed in during it thatPresident Obama is not as handsome as Daddy. LOL

  3. I agree 100%. No matter who you voted for, an inauguration is a very important event, and IMO to take children out of school to NOT see it, is sad and short sighted and just plain petty. I wanted to take the day off from work, but could not. I am going to buy a DVD of the day!I agree 4 years is a long time, and I hope more good things than bad happen in those 4 years!

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