Tuesday, November 4, 2008


6:45 p.m. EST: Here we sit, huddled around the T.V., eyes glued on the hardest working man in showbiz, Wolf Blitzer. Jackson made it a full 6 hours at school before needing to be picked up, and he's currently engulfed in a cozy blanket on the couch, watching election results intently.

We're excited. A little nervous. We're celebrating the little things, like... Vermont. We're hopeful. Matt and I are sharing stories with the boys about the last two elections, especially. I have made a deal with Anderson Cooper and Wolfman that if they project our next President accurately by 10:00 p.m., then in exchange we'll stop calling them "Talking Heads," and will, in fact, name our next child CNN or Blitzer or something. (This is where I should admit that we got the idea for "Cooper" after watching Anderson for an hour in 2006, but that's our little secret, okay?)

The boys are asking amazing questions. Jackson, in particular, was curious about the Vice Presidential nominees and why they even need to exist. We've explained that Joe Biden and Sarah Palin have been chosen as "helpers" by the presidential candidates, and he seemed convinced. He did, however, make sure to quiz me last night:

Jackson: Mama, I like Barack Obama. I voted for him (this is, technically, true).
Me: Me too, Bear. I like Barack Obama.
Jackson: Did you vote for Barack Obama?
Me: Yes! Yes I did!
Jackson: Good. I don't want you to vote for John McCain.
Me: [tearing up] I love you, son. So much.

Earlier tonight, Cooper discovered that we could sing Barack's slogan to the tune of the "Bob the Builder" theme song:

Cooper: B'wak Obama! Can he fix it?! B'wak Obama! YES WE CAN!
Me: [tearing up] I love you, son. So much.

Truth be told, this whole evening is a little bizarre. There are the Fred Armisen-esque map viewings, as well as the creepy Wolf and Jessica Yellin-as-Hologram "Help me Obi Wan! You're my only hope!" moments that are, well, creepy. Especially because Wolf just referred to their conversation as "intimate."

Jackson is a building replica of the White House with blocks and musing, "I'm going to live here, with you, and Daddy and Cooper, and Edgar. And Barack Obama." Maybe he knows that Sasha and Malia Obama are getting a celebratory Inauguration puppy.

This morning, we went cruising around polling places. At 7:35 this morning, there was a line wrapped around the Decatur Christian Church, East Lake Elementary was packed, and Winnona Park was flooded with pedestrians. For some reason, I got weepy as I honked and waved at the enthusiastic voters. There is something that completely overwhelms me with joy and hope at the sight of a bunch of folks, gathering together, to do something important. I get the same feeling now as I watch the masses begin to huddle in Grant Park to hear Barack Obama's (anticipated) victory speech tonight. My heart swells, my eyes flood, and I feel like, indeed, I've done something worth celebrating.

Today at Saint Mark, we had our weekly staff meeting. The conversation, at some point, turned to the election and we all offered our personal, "When I voted..." stories. It was comforting to share in a place where we all, essentially, agree. There was a safety and peace in our concurrence, and we breathed deeply of our collective anticipation and expectation.


CNN just called the election with 297 electoral votes, after New Mexico, California, Oregon and Washington reported. Tears are streaming down my face as we watch the hundreds of thousands of people all around the country celebrating and rejoicing. The pundits are showing their true colors as they respond with emotion and honesty. The words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. are being quoted in abundance as Ebenezer Baptist Church is packed with people who might have only prayed where they would see a day when a man was truly judged, "not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character."

Matt and I are relaxing, maybe for the first time in eight years. We're toasting one another with delicious sparkling wine and awaiting President Elect Obama's speech, and patiently listening to the very gracious concession of John McCain.

This is a new day. However we feel about these candidates, things are changing, and I pray that in eight years we will look back and all be able to acknowledge how this marked a shift in our thinking and when the mentality of an old world ceased to be. I pray that God will work through this newly elected president, a man I truly admire and trust to lead us, to inspire us all to be better neighbors, better citizens, better people.

Blessings and peace be with you all.



Meg Edmondson said...

Your blog is so amazing, Mandy. Your evening sounded a bit like mine.....minus the quiz from Jackson and song from Cooper. My question: what was Edgar Beagle Love-whore doing during all this excitement? :)

Mom said...

It sounds like the Flemming family made a day, a full day, of the election. I prayed before the votes were tabulated that the man best suited for the presidency would win. I trust that is the case.