My 5-year-old daughter Allison, who loves kindergarten so much that she allows herself to be ripped from the comfort of her warm covers each weekday morning, wanted to know why she was out of school on Monday.
And so with the backdrop of Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on the TV in our living room, I tried to explain to her a time that I was fortunate to miss. A time when a few of her classmates today wouldn’t have been allowed to be her classmates, and how a man like Dr. Martin Luther King and so many others did so much to bring needed change to our country.
“Just because they had darker skin, Daddy?” little Allison asked, her eyes as wide as they were when she got out of bed and saw the snow.
“Sierra and R.J. wouldn’t have been in my class?”
And so, a few minutes before Obama was set to take the oath of office and make another grand speech, I told my daughter to watch the moment, even though a snow-blanketed yard awaited her and hot chocolate beckoned. So that one day, she could tell her children of a time when people never thought a person with “darker skin” could lead our nation, and how unfathomable such a time could be.
No matter your politics, this was history. And so I’m posting video of President Obama’s inaugural address so that I can readily find it and recall the wonder in my daughter’s eyes upon hearing of a world so unbelievable.