Well, things worked out pretty handily at the polls. Pablo protested our takeover of the TV in the den, and retreated to the play room to watch 'The Batman' on the Boomerang network. Speaking of boomerangs: Prior to scooting into his personal romper room, P opened a couple gifts—a gorgeous hand-painted boomerang, and a gnarly three-pronged plastic one—from our friends Richard and Kim Cawsey, who are in town from Sydney. They joined us for Tomato Pie Pizza and a side of good old American landslide.
After president-elect Barack Obama's beautiful, authentic acceptance speech, I went to check on Pablo in the play room. History had just been made in Chicago's Grant Park, but Pablo was fast asleep. The last time Pablo was in Grant Park, we were spending an afternoon with his uncle Scott. Pablo was 18 months old, and Scott was in a wheelchair, just two weeks from his final day. The view of Chicago we all had during Obama's speech tonight was the view Dean and I had as Scott's pastor, Father Chuck Faso, drove the two of us and our older brother from his house to Northwestern Memorial Hospital so he could die out of sight of his then three-year-old daughter. Scott lived at the south end of that park. The hospital is at the opposite end of the park, just behind the giant office tower that had its lights lit to make the letters 'USA.' Every time the camera showed Obama's panoramic view of the city—that's the view I'm talking about.
Tonight's speech was more than an patriomotional it's-good-to-be-alive moment. It was like someone took the turntable of my mind, body and spirit, dropped the needle on the record, cranked the volume and spun the record as fast as it would go. When it stopped, I settled on the vision of how happy Scott would have been to be at the acceptance speech tonight. It was a five minute walk from his front door. He would have been so proud that his beloved city produced the most revolutionary of all political candidates in the history of our nation. I probably would have been there, standing beside him. In reality, in my skin, I am happy to be alive. It is a good time to be here, with my thriving family.
I wasn't expecting to have that memory tonight. But there it was. That's how it goes.
Back in the play room with sleeping Pablo.... I put my arms around him, picked him up and held him. As happy as I was that our guy won the election, the only thing I really cared about was Pablo. Top of my mind was the future of Pablo and Grady's America. And the top of that list was Pablo's future, period. Nights like tonight force us all to think about not only the moment, but the future. The future in our house is—sometimes, frequently—a tender topic of conversation and contemplation. As of today, I am shifting my mild obsession with the election to a major obsession with Lance Armstrong's return to professional cycling.
I felt safe tonight, with my family, with our friends from across the world. I felt like the good guy won, like hope is alive, and like, finally, the angst of the last election had closure. The hanging chad is finally reunited with its ballot. And we can all rest well tonight.
The next good guy who has to (keep) winning is Pablo. But you already knew that.
Good night. And if you voted for the other guy, we love you all the same. Seriously.