My first presidential memory is of Jimmy Carter. I remember talking about how I knew the president's name at my Grandma's house on Linway; for whatever reason I remember where I was standing, in between the kitchen and the living room. It's strange to me what the brain selects to remember: did someone ask me if I knew? Was I just talking to hear myself talk? What was I doing the minutes preceding or immediately after? I have no idea. I am sure, however, that Maddie and Gracie will date their first presidential memories to the inauguration of Barack Obama (well, Gracie at least—I wouldn't be surprised if Maddie remembers the second inauguration of George Bush with her memory like a steel trap). I'm so happy that they'll have a memory of such incredible historical significance as their first awareness of U.S. government, no matter how their own political beliefs develop as they grow up.
I'm also still in disbelief that I have a first-hand memory of such incredible historical significance. As a social studies teacher, to attend an inauguration—any inauguration—is a major opportunity of a lifetime. As a scrapbooker who lives for documenting life for my family now and in the future, to attend an inauguration is a major opportunity of a lifetime. And as an American, to attend an inauguration is to affirm the ideals our country was founded upon—to witness a peaceful transition of power which is often taken for granted. To attend with almost 2 million other people is... surreal.
Congratulations and best wishes to President Obama. Gracie is writing him a letter in the morning to say hi.
There's a photo album on the left with lots of stories about the whole thing!