Last week, my colleagues and I were given permission by the principal to watch the swearing in of our 44th president at noon. All other coverage, the parades, for example, were deemed inappropriate to watch. Conveniently, I was not feeling well on Inauguration Day, and at home I was able to watch coverage all day. So I did.
First, I listened to commentaries--flipping back and forth between NBC and msnbc--while President-elect Obama and his wife went to church, then to the White House for coffee. I cheered when Tom Brokaw said, "[...] and to those bigots and rednecks [...] I met along the way[...], Take this!" in much the same way one might cheer at a touchdown during the Superbowl. Next I saw the ceremony followed by the parade. When the anthem was played I stood, despite the fact that I was alone at home and in my pajamas. I texted back and forth with my friend Candyce, and I called out names of senators and justices when I saw them arrive as if it were a Who's Who Quiz Show, proud that I learned so much while so involved in the election. And when the crowd of millions cheered or waved their flags, I'd well up. I felt like all those people on the mall were my friends. I felt a kinship with a hopeful world on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, while I cried on and off all day, overfull of emotions.
That night I went to bed with my TV on, watching coverage of the Inaugural Balls. I made it through 5 of the 10 and enjoyed watching the President and the First Lady dance at all 5 of them. Even more, I enjoyed calling them that.
President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama. How awesome is that?