I am bubbling over with excitement this morning, even as I groggily sip a soy vanilla latte.
In exactly one week, we have the opportunity to invent a new and better America. The future awaits. The air rings with the bells of change. The wind blows with the scent of possibility. I can't wait.
This morning is exactly 7 days from when the polls in my state, Missouri, opens. I expect to see people in line even before this 7:19am hour. I hope people take the day off work so they won't feel the pressure of the time clock, one day's pay is worth it for this day's newness. My van will hope to be filled with my daughter and any one else who needs a ride to the polls. I will use my latte money to buy a big thermos of hot chocolate and to-go cups, I want to help keep the people in queue warm and ready. To me, on that day, it won't matter if you are old or young, male or female, educated or uneducated, white collar or blue collar, union or non-union, Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Muslim, mother or father, black or white, it will only matter that you are an American and you are standing in line to do what makes us great, vote.
Joshua, my youngest son, is equally enthusiastic about the election. He went to canvass on Saturday morning and worked the phone banks on Monday afternoon. He watched the debates with me and has kept up with all the issues. He wrote an article about 16-year-olds voting because he could feel the rush of energy from his classmates. He plans to stay up all night to watch the results.
The girls know about the candidates and have their opinion of who should be president. The youngest eagerly helps me deliver meals to the local campaign office and even earned herself a nametag. The older one talks about the election on the playground. The girls are only 7 and 4 1/2, somehow, they know how we are standing on the cusp of a great move and shift in the trajectory of tomorrow. They have given their dad ideas about our family election night watch party.
It has been a long journey to just one week away. I have met people I never would've met. I talked to people I probably wouldn't have approached before. I shed the lens of my color at times to look through the lens of humanity and see what immigrants and Third World nations see in America. In our ideals, in our democracy, in our freedom lies the earnestness to make this a good and accepting people. We have the best document after our holy creeds, the United States Constitution. Finally, there sits in the not-too-distant future, on the horizon, a spotlight that is us, a new and better America.
In this new America, I know my daughters will be grandmothers when there will be an evening out of the races, there will be a celebration of cultures, there will be rich colors and delicious foods and the glorious ring of many tongues. In this new America, it will be possible for my daughters to serve their community and in turn, earn their college diploma in the field of their choice. In this new America, teachers will be exalted to their rightful position as the keepers of knowledge for the new generation. In this new America, my elderly citizens won't have to decide between dinner and doses. In this new America, mothers will not be punished for having children and taking time away from their careers. In this new America, every man who applies himself will have a good job that pays for hard work. In this new America, the few won't control the many. In this new America, possibility will be a true word and not a lofty ideal.
A new and better America awaits, it is almost like being nine months pregnant and the doctor says the baby could come at any day, except we know the day of delivery. November 4, 2008 we will elect a new President of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and on that new day, I will sing and dance my way to the polls and cast my ballot for Senator Barack Obama. I can't wait.