Thursday, November 06, 2008

Some moments are just too important to miss

Will Thalheimer's post about how he and his wife woke their very young daughter to hear Obama's victory speech a very touching and worthwhile read.

There are some moments that are just too important to miss. There are times when what usually constitutes good practice needs to be placed on a backburner. Perhaps the young Ms Thalheimer was grumpy the next day due to a broken night's sleep. So what? A day's grumpiness is surely a small price to pay.

On one of the rare occasions when it snowed in the south east of England, my husband burst through the door very late from work because the traffic had all come to a standstill and he had had to walk home from the station.

"Everybody out!" he shouted, "I have remembered that I am descended from the vikings!" Late as it was, he took our two young lads outside and had them making snowball pyramids into which they placed lit tealights to mark our pathway. They made snow angels long after they should have been in bed. They threw snowballs at each other long after we should have been in bed. It was a moment to grasp (although those who are bored with snow may disagree).

There have been other moments when we have woken our children to share with them a piece of news we have felt couldn't wait until morning.

None of these occasions have been anywhere near as significant as the election of a president who seems set to make history for reasons other than the colour of his skin - although that is, in itself a matter worthy of note. So I applaud the Thalheimers' decision.

I believe it is moments like this that serve as an antidote to the malaise that seems to be spreading across the younger generations in respect of politics: national, local or global.

When I told my own children the results of the US election, my younger son (aged 15) said "I'm glad, because he's cool... and less likely to die in office." I wondered why he should consider it important that the president of the USA should not die in office, but I had to share his relief. After all, if McCain had won and died in office, the next president of the USA would have been the woman who is said to have put the 'alas' in Alaska. Erm. Just no.


Wendy said...

'alas' in Alaska.... Love it!
Yeah - she scared me too.
What I found amazing - as I stood in line to vote, it seemed that people were going to vote FOR something rather than holding their nose and praying they are not making a huge mistake as they made their selection. That, by itself, gives me hope for our future.

The upsycho said...

@Wendy It's not a Karyn original expression, I have to confess, but I do like it. Your sense of optimism appears to be shared by many, if not most Americans... and much of the rest of the world.