Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The inauguration

John woke up with a marginal case of pink eye this morning, so instead of my shortened workday, I got to stay home entirely and take him to the doctor. The doctor visit was okay, but he didn't like the eye drops at all and we also had a minor ant-related emergency in the kitchen this morning, so it was seeming like all hell wanted to break loose. John said he wanted "pizza" for lunch, and when I got out the little frozen one I decided instead that we'd take another daddy/Johnny trip to Target and get a little pizza there from the Pizza Hut express and maybe pick up a new car or little box of LEGOs.

So somehow it slipped Dad's mind for about a half an hour that Barack Obama was being sworn in today at noon. As it happens, I found myself helplessly driving up to the Target parking lot at 11:55 as I realized what was happening. I called Beth, who said she hadn't TiVo'd it, and neither had I. Somehow, by virtue of the chaos of this morning I was about to miss the inauguration that I had waited and waited to see for weeks. I took a deep breath and resolved to just go ahead and do what I was going to do at Target anyway. Presidents come and go, but you're only a big strong daddy once, right?

So we go and pick up some food and go look at the LEGO's, and the toy aisle happened to be right next to the electronics department. As we approached the end cap, I heard Obama's now-familar voice played on a wall of stereos. We walked over to one and turned it up a bit so we could hear it, and I listened to his inaugural speech right there in Target on the giant wall of stereos. There was some mix-in with songs in the background from the radio DJ, and it became one of those moments that, cliche as it might sound, you'll never forget. John said "who's that?" I said "That's Obama." He looked at me and his eyebrows raised a little. "O-bama." he repeated.

I'm sure I'll catch the whole thing on YouTube eventually, but it was a nice moment anyway and it was special in its own way for me and John. He's napping now, and hopefully sleeping off the pink eye with the help of some eyedrop antibiotics. I have nowhere to go, so I opened up a bottle of champagne I got from one of my patients and I'm going to sit here in the sunbeam on my couch for an hour or so and have some champagne and work on my book.

Go Obama!

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