I was a know-it-all, thought-I-was-the-smartest-thing-evah kid, and I had little interest in the larger world. My son, the skateboarding, pop-rock-hip-hop, dancing obsessed ten-year-old has put me to shame.
He loves Barack Obama, has sat through debates, has critiqued John McCain. He's observant of other people's comments and bumper stickers. He walks around the house lamenting the fact that he can't vote. I've had to reassure him a million times that I'm going to take him with me when I do.
The other day, he begged me to break the no-TV-no-recreational-internet-Monday-through-Thursday rule. He wanted to go to Nick.com. "Kids can vote there!" he told me. I told him he helped Senator Obama edge by Senator McCain. You should've seen his smile.
My son identifies with Barack Obama for obvious reasons and this campaign means something to him that even I can't fully understand.
It's on these kids' faces:
All those pictures are copied from Yes We Can (hold babies), btw.
He is so eager, so protective and adoring of Barack Obama, that I've had to call him on two things.
First, a few days ago, I was trying to decide what clips from the The Murder of Emmitt Till I would show in my African American History class. My son saw parts of it and asked for the back story--he knows a bit about Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement already, but we've always discussed "And black people could be killed for..." in an abstract sense. But here was the story of a boy, only a few years older than he, who'd been savagely murdered. That troubled him enough.
But when I told him the murderers got away with it, he got visibly angry. "Wait til Obama is president," he said. "Racism-"
"Will still be here," I interrupted him. "Baby, Barack Obama being president will not fix all of the things we've talked about."
He nodded, but I know, in his heart, he thinks an Obama presidency will rectify so much of what is wrong.
Then, he came home Wednesday, sort of pissed, because his friend's mom had a "Nobama" sticker on her car.
He thought aloud about the likelihood of the friendhsip being able to continue. I scolded him for that and told him that not everyone has to agree with him politically. He just looked at me because he's still self-centered enough to think that everyone ought to see things the way he does.
This picture was on Yes We Can (hold babies) yesterday:
The caption beneath read
These two boys waited as a long line of adults greeted Senator Obama before a rally on Martin Luther King Day in Columbia, S.C. They never took their eyes off of him. Their grandmother told me, “Our young men have waited a long time to have someone to look up to, to make them believe Dr. King’s words can be true for them.” Jan. 21, 2008.Whatever happens, while I am admittedly intrigued by Obama, as a person, I am deeply appreciative of what Obama, as a symbol, has meant to my child.