We don’t watch much TV, with Isabelle, around these parts. Therefore, rather than stay home to watch today’s media event (I call it that since the official swearing-in happened yesterday.), we were out and about with my parents who were in town visiting for the past few days. By the time we got home, it was 2:00 p.m. Isabelle was overdue for a nap, so why not push off that nap for another half hour to watch the Inauguration Day coverage? Therefore, we snuggled on the couch and watched Senator Schumer preside over the luncheon in Statuary Hall at the Capitol. It wasn’t full of pomp and circumstance like the swearing-in, the speech, or the parade, but it was what was on at 2:00 p.m. It allowed me to say, “Hey, you watched part of the Inauguration Festivities back in 2013.”
We watched for about 20 minutes. The highlight was watching Isabelle clapped every time the invited guests applauded for the photographs, the crystal vases, and other things that were given to President Obama and Vice President Biden. However, after awhile, she got tired of clapping. She laid her head on a pillow on my lap and rested. It was time for her to go upstairs for a nap.
As I walked down the stairs after placing Isabelle in her crib, I thought back to January 1997. I had four tickets to President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration. I got them thanks to a connection I had at the White House since I volunteered at the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach for a little over a year. However, I didn’t use the tickets. I gave them to four college friends. Instead, I attended my cousin’s 60th birthday party up in New York. My parents gave me permission to skip the birthday party and go to the Inauguration since it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. (Did I mention they were GREAT tickets? I would’ve been able to see the President without binoculars!) After a lot of soul searching, I decided to put family first. There would always be another inauguration, right?
One day, when Isabelle is older, it is my hope that we’ll have the chance to attend an Inauguration as a family. When that day eventually comes, I have a feeling I’ll be watching it on a Jumbotron from the National Mall, rather than ticketed seats. And that will be okay because it will give me the chance to tell Isabelle the story of 1997, the meaning of family, and the importance of waiting for the right moment in time.
15 thoughts on “Inauguration Day”
Yes, waiting for the right moment in time. I sweet and thoughtful post, as always.
I am sure you will attend an inauguration as a family. Your daughter will not be surprised by the story. I think she will already know that you put family first in your life. What a powerful legacy you are creating for your family.
To me, family should always come first…that’s awesome!
We had the TV on, but we weren’t really watching it-however at the part where the outdoor swearing in happened, the clapping caught Natalie’s attention and she clapped! Oh, she listened when JT sang too…
Your post could have SO many other titles becuase it really is not so much about inagurations but rather about family and the infinite number of choices we all make every day. Like all working moms, we leave children with coughs and colds at home, miss some field trips, leave sick parents with caregivers; however, there are many, many , many other days when I decide to skip the celebration with coworkers to be home for pizza and a movie with the family. It’s that delicate balancing act you might have been thinking of – with or without kids – when you are part of a family.
@Anita: I played around with other titles when I crafted this yesterday, but just kept coming back to Inauguration Day. It didn’t quite work, but it seemed like it would capture what quite a few of my inauguration days of been about.
We watch so little TV – follow so little news at our house. I wish I’d had the kids watch this though. They ended up so busy with their dad making pinewood derby cars!
I always love hearing about your family. You make them come alive in your writing.
Family first—I’m sure Isabelle will take that to heart as she grows and learns from you. I could just feel the two of you sitting there watching the proceedings….
@Deb: What a lovely thing to say! Thank you for that.
I am such a political junkie that I changed my guitar lesson so I had a full block of time and I taped it for Tuvia to watch today. But then I have no child. Can you imagine how crazy she’d be under my influence? No sports things just buttons and tees 🙂
I love the idea of a family inaugural adventure. Tuvia and I had that with his granddaughter the first O inauguration.
I wonder what she remembers?
@Bonnie: Ha! You’d be proud of me when it comes to influence. I did have Isabelle with me on Election Day. I also took photos of her on Halloween in her costume in front of our Obama/Biden yard sign.
There will be elections to come in which Isabelle will be ready to take it all in and make meaning of the experience; it is enough, for now, to cuddle up with family, and sense the excitement in the air – that is Inaugural day excitement! PS. I was in the crowds for the first Clinton swearing in….such a great memory!
I love that it was a day off school for us this year. I carried one of my never-ending stack of papers to the breakfast table, and reveled in the chance to have a diversion. I love the ceremony that accompanies this special day!
The picture of her curly hair resting on your lap shows so much about what your words captured. It seems like this post is really in line with your “Everything else can wait.” It is always inspiring to think of instances where people have been able to put family first.
I think there’s plenty of time for you to take Isabelle to an inauguration, & it’s a nice thing you did to go to your cousin’s birthday instead of the inauguration. I would always put family first too.
That is exactly what I told Hope. We would go to an inauguration one day! Though it was a great day to sit and watch it with family this year!