Sunday, January 18, 2009

For My Hearts

"I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours." ~ from Obama's letter to his Daughters

Faithful readers of Bringing Up Burns know what next Tuesday means to me. Those of you who are new - welcome to Obama's biggest Mama. I'm choosing to post my inauguration thoughts a little early, since Tuesday is also my sister's birthday...and her letter is in the works!

I have been looking forward to this day since early 2007. It's weird for me to contemplate that. Before Wyatt. Even before I knew there would be a Wyatt. Oh, how I love that little man! And how incomplete my life would be without him. I feel similar about our new President.

I remember visiting my sister for her 25th birthday in January 07. We talked about him. Were inspired by him. Admired him. Oprah-fied him. (We were in Chicago for heaven's sake!) This was new for me. Because up until this point I had always seen my sister as the silly, young, bleeding-heart liberal of our family. I had always voted Republican. Conservative, Christian, Right-Winged Republican.

But something had changed.

What exactly?

It's a very valid question you ask. Because I have have asked it of myself many a time over the past two years. Here is what I have come up with:

Life used to be about ME. Life used to be simple. (Self absorbed - but simple.) I knew what I wanted, I knew what I needed! I didn't worry about money, college tuition, health care, or equal opportunity. I didn't think about things like foreign policy or America's face. The economy was strong - for all I knew - and civil rights was something that occurred in the 60's, right? WAR was new, and I was oblivious to the sacrifice SIX YEARS would take on the souls of soldiers and their families. I lived in Newport Beach, CA and I was oblivious to the change that was coming.

The change that was coming in ME. Change in my heart. Change in my mind. Change in my being. Change in my soul.

She brought about the change. I have her to thank. (And Matthew of course, because he gave her to me.) Her name is Megan. I gave birth and momentarily the world seemed to stand still. It quite immediately took a new tilt and began to rotate on a new axis. An axis named FUTURE.

My child's future. Not my own. Mine didn't seem to matter anymore. Of course I wanted to be there! To experience it with her. But HER future was what mattered most. And it was my mission, my duty, my privilege, to make it the best that it could be.

Innate parts of who I thought I was began to shift.

What if she got pregnant at 15? What would I do? What would I want? I would want what was best for HER. No one else. Not him. Not me. Not her Father. Not even the baby. If her best choice was an abortion, I would drive her there myself. I would hold her hand and kiss her tears. I would want it to be possible, to be legal, and to be as painless for her as possible.

Did I care who she married? Honestly, if she was happy, if she'd found true LOVE...then NO. Love is hard enough to find. I didn't care. I wouldn't judge. Male or Female, any race or religion, I would love them too. And I would want marriage to be just as easy and blissful for her as it had been for me.

Life changed when she came along. Radically.

I want so much for this little cherub. An angel truly Heaven sent. She is the embodiment of my heart, my hopes, and my happiness. Her smile can bring me to my knees. And now I've been blessed with three of her, so to speak. Three of my hearts walking around outside my body. Three people I would rather be with than anyone else. Three souls gifted to me to foster, to nurture, to love. Three beings who - no matter what I do to prolong their baby-ness - live and breathe, talk and walk. They grow ever more into their own little selves.

And one day, my hearts will leave me.

I cringe at the thought. But it fills me with a surge of excitement at the same time. Because all that is in me wants that for them. I want them to be happy on their own - with their mate - in this world. Blissfully happy. Easily happy.

So, yes, Tuesday is big for me. Because Tuesday symbolizes so much. CHANGE. A new hope as a mother. A new, kinder, more accepting America. An America working together to be better.

An America my Hearts will grow up in. An America I HOPE they will be proud of. An America I HOPE will mold their hearts.

To my Hearts:

In Obama's words - "These are the things I want for you - to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed (humans) who will help build that world."

Exactly. Precisely. Perfectly. Whole-heartedly.

Megan, Molly & Wyatt -

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of your Mother, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend our family.

I love you. Ridiculously so.



Ramirez Family said...

Erin- your letter is so poignant and inspiring it brought tears to my eyes (and my friends at work thought I was looking at porn thanks to your previous post's pic... thanks for that.). I didn't vote for Obama because I haven't fully embraced all those changes you describe, but I am starting to, and I am rather curious (and hopeful) that just perhaps this IS the man that our country needs, that will bring greatness back to our country. I can't wait to see what the next 4 years have in store.

LACY said...

I am pretty excited to see what will happen during his time in office.
Love that you like the Twilight series. Cullen is a cute name:)

Jennifer said...

That was an absolutely beautiful post! I am wiping my eyes as we speak-it truly made me cry! I feel the same. I SOOO look forward to Obama stepping into office on Tuesday. I know that change can't happen right away, but I feel convinced that he will set us back on track!!

Brooke said...

Wow Erin. That brought tears to my eyes and a change in my being. Motherhood changes you more than you know. I love your writing and your ability to make it look so easy, it is not! I am excited to watch Obama with my first graders, to witness history in the making!

~love said...

forget the tears to my eyes...i am TOTALLY crying.

i am so thankful for our country and excited to see what the next 4 years will hold.

your words said it better than i could've. my life, and (slowly) my political party, changed when chloe came. although i do not fully agree with either "side", i am beyond confident that this is the man i want leading our country. i am filled with gratitude and hope.

thanks so much for this, erin.

LauraC said...

Yes we did.
Gorgeous tribute, even more beautiful than I expected out of you. Love hearing what made you change your mind and I KNOW you will not be disappointed in this man.

For the first time in my life, I feel like we have a president that we can admire and ALL hope to emulate. Their family is one that I hope we can all emulate.

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