Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ben and Politics

Benjamin has known who Barack Obama is since the primary race when I had him stand in front of house with a "Thank You President Bush" sign and chant Obama, Obama, Obama. Irresponsible? I don't think so.
Anyway, I have thought a lot about how I want Ben to be active in his community, active in the country and active in things that matter most to him. My hope is that I will provide opportunities for him to learn about different topics, people, places, etc. that will help create a broad view of the world and help him make responsible and thoughtful decisions.

I know he's only 3.5 but I can already see that he understands more than I ever thought a 3.5 year old could. However, he is only 3.5 and I get a little carried away.

During the inauguration, Ben and I were home sick so we were able to watch a moment in history together. He kept coming in the room and would then leave to continue playing. Finally, when President Obama was speaking Ben looks at me really seriously and says "Mommy, can Obama be a girl?" I told him that Obama was a boy so he then asked if we could pretend he was a girl. I told him that we could pretend anything we wanted but I was curious to why he wanted our president to be a girl. He's response "I want a girl president." Needless to say I was so proud of him in that moment. I was sure I was doing something right, that my 3.5 year old son knew that anyone could be president...anyone. I also like to think that he thought Mommy might be a better president than Daddy.

Since the journey started for this presidential election I have felt such hope and gratitude. It is amazing to me that Ben will never know a time in his life where it wasn't possible for anyone to be president. I was reminded of this moment in February at his Valentine Party at school. While the kids were waiting for the festivities to begin, the teacher was asking them a series of questions:

1. In which city do you live? C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I (which was sung to the Mickey Mouse song.)
2. What is your state? OHIO screamed by 23 little kids.
3. What is our country? The United States of America...this is where I started getting a bit choked up.
4. Who is the president of the United States of America...Barack Obama (except for Ben who just calls him Obama due to the chanting he did during the primary election)

Again, such emotion ran through me I couldn't' stand amazing that all of these kids, not just my son, have the fortune of living in this time...yes, I know the economy stinks but still aside from that, I think it's pretty amazing. So, imagine my joy when Ben brings home the above picture of President Obama. I see this picture and the first thing I think of is "Wow, Ben has made his jacket all different colors as a commentary on the hope and promise of change in our future. Ben understands that the world is made up of people of all different shapes, sizes, colors, beliefs....and he values that. My 3.5 year old is so deep.

So I ask him "Ben, why did you choose to make Obama's jacket so many different colors?" His response...."Because jackets have a lot of colors."

Okay, so he's 3.5...and then I got a grip.
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