Freedom Rang


(b may appear as a d; she’s in preschool)

Saskia was born on Super Tuesday, 2008. The potential that a woman or an African American man might become President still seemed surreal. What a moment for a biracial girl to join the world. We raced from hospital to our polling place with just five minutes to spare. Given that we needed to go home that evening and check in with the other kids, the chance to cast our votes felt important, like the capstone to the promise the day held personally and for the country. PS: We hadn’t slept at all.

YAY. It turned out that the potential manifested into Barack Obama’s rough, proud, noble, historic first term as President (with Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State). And on Martin Luther King’s holiday, the nation marked the Inauguration of President Obama’s second term.

I did not sleep much. Perhaps, it’s because I’m still pinching myself about how epic yesterday was—and felt.

So on Tuesday, the day after MLK’s holiday and the Inauguration, I am grateful for the promise and hope tapped into on a day like yesterday; I am grateful to leaders that work so hard to make the nation do what a nation is supposed to do; and I am grateful to young activists (you define young; I don’t have to, young in spirit counts) for pushing to make our nation do more than simply what it is supposed to do, but to do so well, justly and with the spirit of seeking that much more.

Did you hear or read the speech?

Although I couldn’t help but notice how glamorous Michelle looked yesterday (okay, I’m on the her-bangs-aren’t-my-favorite side, if you’re asking), I read with greater interest about how friends see shifts within the Obamas over the past four years.

I read, too, with great interest about how grounded the girls are.

Saskia “wanted to be” Malia yesterday, when she saw the sisters at the Inauguration.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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