Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This Morning Was Different.

First thing every morning, I take my dog for a walk, and every morning, a boy (African American) about 11 or 12-years old walks to the bus stop at the same time. We always acknowledge each other, and then continue to walk along in silence until we reach the corner, where the school bus picks him up to take him to school, thus the place where we part ways. I don't even know his name.

This morning was different. Slightly ahead of me, he turned around and waved and I waved back. I looked back to make sure I closed my door, and the next thing I know, this boy was right beside me asking me how I felt about our new President. I told him I was very happy. I then asked him how he felt about Obama winning. He responded that he was also very happy, and then proceeded to give me a play-by-play of the electoral vote the night before, breaking it down, state-by-state. It didnt' occur to me until later that this young man was telling me that not only did Obama win, but that Obama remade the electoral map by dissolving the Republican hold in certain areas of our country.

I do know - unlike most of the kids in this neighborhood, who are mostly white, and shadowed by the constant, whirring chopper blades that accompany and probably annoy them, wherever they go - that this boy is a foster child, among many foster children, who live with an elderly African American couple, in a house on the corner, with an in-ground swimming pool in their backyard and a large church van parked in their driveway. I also know that this boy was taken away from an abusive mother and that this is not the boy's first foster home, and it may not be his last. However, despite this boy's less than perfect circumstances, he, and so many others like him will now carry with him/them, wherever he/they go, the inspiration that only the election of our first black President can provide.

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