Momlogic sent Naila and her daughter Kennedy to the inauguration to share their first-hand experiences from DC. As they make the journey home to LA, Naila takes a look back at the journey of a lifetime.
Guest blogger Naila Culpepper: I am back on the West Coast
now ... barely escaping Washington in time to make our flight out of
Dulles. My daughter is passed out in my bed, clothes still on,
last heard muttering: "Do Malia and Sasha have to go to school
tomorrow? if not, do I have to?"
Once airborne, I was sure that I
would collapse into a coma. Instead, I found myself with eyes closed,
listening to the myriad of conversations around me -- all centered around
the once-in-a-lifetime event we had just witnessed. A college kid
from Oklahoma who met "I'm sure my future wife, man," he told his
friend, while buying hand-warmers. A family who hadn't planned to attend
the inauguration because their hotel was on Pennsylvania Avenue ... but because they were unable to get to their hotel, they instead witnessed the inauguration from the street in four pairs of socks and high-heeled shoes. A young boy telling his dad "Malia is cute." And the flight attendant next to me who, like me, had voted for Bush both terms but cast her vote for Obama in part because his eyes "seemed honest."
For those I encounter who are still cyncial and unsure whether or not this has just been an elaborate Hollywood act featuring a president with rock star appeal ... I can only laugh. The screenplay of President Obama's meteoric rise would definitely fall into the pass category. Much too far-fetched.
Barack Hussein Obama is anything but a rock star. He is a man who made his own luck, worked hard, mastered the art of listening, and fashioned himself a leader even when very few believed it. Barack paid close attention and saw a country that he loved, our country at a crossroads, and he decided to act with bridges and not divisive tools, choosing at every turn to applaud and respect his former opponents -- not to win votes but because that is the man he is.
If you are unsure of him because of his politics, pay attention to the husband and father he is, and listen to what your heart tells you. I have learned in my own assesement of people that much can be garnered by how a man treats his family.
Barack Obama has made hope hip, has made kindness fashionable again ... the mass exodus of Americans from all walks of life who came, stood, and braved the cold and the lines just to see history is the proof of life needed.
I will always remember the millions of jubliant faces in Washington, the invisible current of unity, rather than the few in the corners and shadows, who still hold hatred because it's more familiar than acceptance.
I choose hope.