Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Listening to President Obama's second inaugural speech as a parent

As I held Phoenix and we both watched the TV screen, Phoenix sometimes belting out a yell or zest I thought about how hearing the President speak feels different now that I'm a mother. These are some of my favorite lines of President Obama's second inaugural speech and what they made me think about as a new parent.

I took the words in with a mindset that my baby is the next generation and he's so full of life and I hope this life of his gives him as much to be thankful for and happy about as I'm sure he will give it!

...for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

The word youth made me think of how Phoenix will graduate college in the year 2033 and how different or same the world will be then, how much taking care of eachother and this world means to the future generations.

We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

I thought about how I want Phoenix to grow up driven and ambitious and a hard worker, I'll teach him how to have pride in his work and to have goals in life, long term and short term, and to believe in himself. The power of self-believe is what shapes a life.

We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm.

Life sure is unpredictable and strength and faith are what keep a person keeping on, looking forward, carrying their inner peace and hope after the pain of a loss or misfortune. Take each moment to appreciate the day, notice the world around you, look at our babies and see the light in their eyes, the energy bursting off of them, the happiness in their smile for the new day and take ahold of that happiness and spread it around too. Love can not be broken or swept away.

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