His Story is History

I play a game with myself whenever I’m in a situation that is troubling me. It started a long time ago, but I became conscious of it a few years back when I was sick for many months (it turned out to be common and not life-threatening, but I didn’t know that at the time). To pull myself up out of the depths of fear I was feeling, I found I’d tell myself a story as though I were about eighty years old…
“Yep,” wrinkly me would say, “I remember, oh, back in my late forties or so, I got really sick and none of the doctors could tell me what was causing all the problems. But I got through it, figured it out, and I’ve had this long life and success…” etc etc. It makes sense of course, considering I make up stories for a living.
Last night, as we watched the results pour in, I found myself hearing and seeing what was going on around me almost in a third person kind of way, just like when I play the story game. I kept “hearing” news reports from decades in the future, talking about the time Obama was elected. “Remember how everyone was happy the first Black president had been elected, and now we’re so used to having presidents who’ve been Muslim, Jewish, Gay, and Hispanic that it’s no big deal anymore. And it’s all because Obama’s presidency was as well guided as his campaign for office was…” and the other newscaster responds, “Yeah, totally dude…”
Okay, maybe they still speak properly. But that’s the gist of it.
As President-elect Obama gave his speech last night, it reminded me of when I held my babies for the first time. I had thought, “They are safe right now. They haven’t fallen, gotten cut, or teased by a mean kid. They have no scars.” I feared for them, as I fear for Mr. Obama. I want him to exceed our expectations, to never trip up or alienate. (He will trip up, of course. He’ll make mistakes, like any human). I want him to heal the hatred and “fix” our broken economy. And I want him to stay safe.

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