Monday, January 17, 2011

Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

Last night I dreamed about election night 2008. It was so nice, even if I couldn't figure out why Barack Obama was driving a car without any secret service guys around. When I woke up this morning I told David about the dream, he told me that today is Michelle Obama's birthday.

Then we got to talking about getting new jobs, because Obama, of course, got a big new job in 2008, and then we started talking about how things probably weren't easy for the Obamas when Barack was an Illinois state senator in Springfield most of the time and Michelle was in Chicago working full time. David commented on how big a role Michelle Obama's mother played in their family life. And then I said this: "Imagine. If it weren't for Michelle Obama's mother, Barack Obama might not be president."

I think this might be true.

A million stars have to align for anyone to become president, whether he has a funny name or a plain one, whether you're a WASP or African American or whatever. But on some level, for Barack Obama to pursue a political career, his home life had to be in order. For his home life to be in order, Michelle Obama needed help. And because they lived in her home town where her mom still lived, and because Mrs. Robinson was and is able to play a very active role in their family, Michelle Obama could turn to her mom and her mom could help their lives go. And look where they went.

Even before I had kids I thought of birthdays as celebration days for moms, too. So happy birthday, Mrs. Obama. And, Mrs. Robinson, we owe a great big thank you to you.

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