Democrat or Republican, I’ve always been politically active and interested since I was a girl. My family believes in community, so we have always been socially conscious, philanthropic & politically aware. So it was inevitable that my having a child in the middle of this huge change in our nation’s executive office and this political civil war, he would at least be aware of who his President is.
My son has taken it a step further. My son believes that he and President Obama are best friends. The world stops whenever President Obama appears on the screen. My son has watched the last two State of the Unions on my lap without a peep from him. And we have enjoyed the entire Democratic National Convention with me asking who each speaker is and wondering when the President would show up. He got excited about seeing Michelle because as he says he, “wuvs her” and he thought that seeing the First Lady meant that the President wouldn’t be too far behind. Unfortunately, he didn’t show up much to Jax’s disappointment. However last night after we watched President Clinton give an impressive speech, President Obama walked out on stage. If I didn’t know that it was the President I would have sworn, Elmo had walked out on stage by Jax’s reaction. The boy jumped up and cheered! “Dats him!! Der he is, Mommy!!! Pwesident Obamama!” So I told him that tonight we would watch the President speak. Today he remembered and then he asked if President Obama could come over so they could drive in his power wheels and eat goldfish.
Now yes I am a Obama supporter. I agree with most of his policies and decisions and I will vote for him in the coming election. But I don’t sit down and discuss Healthcare Reform, Tax Incentives & Same Sex Marriage with my preschooler! What I am very very grateful for is that my young black son has a brilliant, powerful, charismatic, leader to look up to. He has a role model and hero who looks like him. He will never know NOT having a black man in leadership in his home country. He will never know that feeling of doubt we as little black girls and boys had, when the teacher pointed to us in class and said, “Maybe you’ll be President one day!”. He will never feel like it’s an impossibility to be anything because he’s black. He’ll know he can be anything as long as he works hard! I had very few role models that looked like me. And it may not sound like a big deal…that is if you’re not in the minority. I love the pride my son has on his face whenever he sees President Obama. Even though he doesn’t really understand what a President is, he knows how to be proud of him. When I see that face, I think about my great grandparents and family members who scrubbed floors, and sat at the back of buses and owned small businesses and listened to riots erupt around them and I get so excited for Jax’s future. They went through so much so that Barack Obama could sit and lead this country. And Barack Obama ran for President so that little boys like Jax, black or white, could know that ANYTHING is possible! That EVERYTHING is possible, when you work hard, no matter the color of your skin.
When I look at Jax’s face, shining with pride I see the face of America. I see the American Dream!