Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kids and Politics

When I was 11 years old, President Jimmy Carter was inaugurated into office and I remember being very interested and excited about the whole process for the first time. I wrote him a letter about recycling and Oregon's bottle bill (wow, some things haven't changed, I was an environmentalist even at that young age!) Now my son is 11 years old and we have one of the most exciting presidential races in history going on, and he is becoming very interested in politics as well. He really wanted to go hear Barack Obama talk on Friday night when he came to town, so at 2:30 we headed out to stand in line with our friends. 9,000 people packed into the basketball arena at the U of O, with 3,000 more outside that didn't make it in (ever see a line that's literally a mile long? We have now!) Obama's talk has been the fodder for our mealtime conversations in the last couple of days, and it's wonderful to have kids who are interested in what is happening in our country.

There were times during the 7-hour wait to see Obama that I questioned whether or not this was going to be a worthwhile thing. After all, that much waiting in line is about like taking a trans-atlantic flight with the kids. They did have friends there though and could run around a bit until we got inside. At 6:30 though, we were seated in the bleachers and still had 2 1/2 hours to go. They held up admirably though, Mackenzie put in earplugs and often had his hands over his ears (especially after Obama started speaking and the crowd went wild at times), and Asa almost fell asleep by the end (around 10:15), but walking out to our car in the dark Mackenzie exclaimed "Obama really rocks! His speech was amazing!" and I couldn't really put it any better.

More photos from the Obama Rally are here on my other blog.

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