Anyway, it's been busy. My mom was in town and we magically managed to get through an entire week, PRE-election, no less, without letting too much of our opposing visions of Blue and Red get in our way too much. We swore off FOX and MSNBC (I love her enough to endure the Olberman/Maddow withdrawals and they ain't pretty) and we did quite nicely. Although I have to admit, the second we got back from dropping her off at the airport, my television was tuned to MSNBC for the better part of the next 24 hours.
Ethan is asserting his independence more with each day. Most of the time it's just plain old bossiness ("You tickle me!!!" or "Ready to get up, Mommy," which is spoken in a tone of implied command). We're doing a LOT of "I need you to say 'please'" just to offset the tone o' brat that comes through in some of his, erm, requests. Thankfully he always obliges and is happy to "please" and "thank you" his way into getting his way all. the. freaking. time.
Although, Husband and I have decided though that "WANT DADDY'S KEY!!!!!! please." now has to be met with a stern "nope. Sorry. No can do, kiddo," because as he becomes more comfortable with that particular proverbial pot of gold in his clutches, he feels freer and freer to roam the house with them and deposit them G-d knows where. This is a problem as the key is one of those shmancy computer-chip jobbies that can't be replaced at your local ACE hardware store. Given the amount of cash I drop on this kid's toys, he really doesn't need to run us a couple hundred in fancy key replacement costs. So Daddy's key is now officially on the very short list of things that are off-limits to Ethan.
In another "it's a whole new ballgame now" show of independence, Ethan decided to take himself on a little field trip the other day. I was babysitting a friend's little one and while I was getting her a sippy of water in the kitchen, Ethan announced matter-of-factly, "I'm going to Starbucks! Bye bye!" and proceeded to push the screen door open and waltz down the driveway. Fortunately I heard him and intercepted his little sojourn before he could turn onto the sidewalk and down the street. Seriously. I'm putting a cow bell around his neck.
In "Liberal Indoctrination" news, Ethan participated in his second trip in his lifetime to the polls this week. Aside from flirting with James Van der Beek (of Dawsons' Creek "fame"), and the guy who plays "Horn-Rimmed Glasses" on HEROES, both of whom were in line with us, Ethan sat quietly while Mama tried to figure out California's "could you make it a bit more complicated by maybe making me vote in Morse Code, please?" voting system. It wasn't too bad, but seriously gave me standardized testing flash backs that I could have lived without.
On top of that, a day earlier, Ethan joined me in rallying for Obama and against a proposition to ban gay marriage in our state. Thankfully Obama won, but sadly, so did the proposition. It's hard to celebrate one victory when my heart is breaking for so many people who were essentially told by their fellow Californians that they are second-class citizens and unworthy of a basic right. I just keep trying to remind myself that 50 years ago, Barack Obama would have had to ride on the back of the bus, and now he is our President-elect. I can't help but believe that someday, those who teach their children love and tolerance will outnumber those who teach their children hate and prejudice, and then it won't matter who loves who, or how; it will just be enough that there is love.
So, anyway, at the rally, Ethan's cute little mug won us a spot on the City Hall steps, right behind the mayor and several other Angeleno big-wigs. He spent most of the time trying to take a snooze and I spent most of my time holding up "Vote NO on Prop 8" and "HOPE" signs with the others up on the steps, while news crews took film and pictures. I have no idea if we made it onto the news, either print or TV because immediately following the rally and all of the next day was a flurry of Election Party '08 preparations and I completely forgot to pay attention.
Either way, I'm proud to be introducing Ethan to the idea of finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in. I'm sure he doesn't remember our participation in the Delta ticket-counter nurse-in two years ago and I'm sure he won't remember this as anything more than a distant blur, if at all; but I want him to know that no matter what he believes, his voice should be heard.
Speaking of voices being heard, at about 8pm PST last night, our roof was about blown off by the collective celebratory scream as CNN announced that Obama had indeed won the last electoral votes needed to be the next President. Husband and I had a small group of our friends and their little ones over and we decked ourselves out in red, white & blue and Obama for the occasion.
The victory would have been sweet had I been sitting all alone, but to be able to share it with Husband, my child and people we've come to care about here made the celebration monumental to me and solidified my appreciation of community and a shared cause. I longed to share the moment with friends back East, too, for whom I knew the news was just as, if not more, significant; but I was still so satisfied looking around my living room at kids laughing and blowing noise-makers, completely unaware, for now, how this election changes their worlds; and husbands and wives, hugging with joyful tears in their eyes, because they do know how this election changes the world for their children. It was amazing.
Ethan on the steps of City Hall with Mama, someone's grandmother, and a bunch of people who want to get married.