Like her, there are so many words, thoughts and possibilities in my head they are hard to corral. When I allow myself to consider the meaning of this win, I get that tight feeling in my chest that comes with anxiety. I can feel my breathing deepen, my pulse race. My head has been hurting since Tuesday morning. Concentrating at work has been beyond difficult.
But it's all good: because my heart is in its best condition ever. So here's what I wrote to my friend:
For me, the belief Barack fostered in me long ago is one that doesn't end with the election. I am waiting to answer his next call to service for community and self. More than that, though, I can't help but reflect on my kids' experiences. With the three of them being so spread out, it offers me differing perspectives.
My 19-year-old college student cast his first-ever vote for Barack. As if that isn't powerful enough, I still see him standing on the brink of his future, but that road block "right there" has been removed to allow him to proceed more directly rather than following the detour to his very near destination -- dreams.
For my 11-year-old, who has so much to grasp about tomorrow, it's as new, exciting and now as starting middle school was this year. There is no historical baggage for him in this victory. He's a kid, you know? He'll likely remember helping me put the sign in the yard, learning the issues throughout the campaign, going to the polls with me, following the vote throughout the evening, and cheering at midnight along with the rest of the world. Barack's win is Tweenage cool like a baseball season that culminates with a playoff trophy or an end-of-semester A. Perhaps the lesson for him will be in witnessing hard work pay off.
For my 6-year-old daughter, who awoke Nov. 4 saying, "Today is the election!," there are issues and a process of which she has no clue (save for "You color circles to vote?"). But beyond all the brown baby dolls I can buy for her, and the stories I can tell about how her Nana integrated her high school in 1956 or how her great-grandma ran her own business in that same small southern-minded town, my youngest one gets to rise through the world watching two little girls who look like her grow up in the White House.
That's the thought that takes my breath away.
There's a line in Stevie Wonder's song, "As," that says "You can bet your life [. . . ] that God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed." I feel as if each of us has been divinely planted in this moment at our appointed ages and stages to continue the momentum with our unique vision and talents.
That mandate hit home even harder today when I remembered my cancelled airline ticket I purchased to attend the African American Literary Awards Show in September. At the last minute, I had to cancel that trip. But now I have a way to DC for Barack's inauguration and a cousin who lives there to stay with.
My excitement is beyond words. As all things are in divine order, I can't wait to discover my mission in this blessing.