Three of us bundled into the recliner, huddled under blankets against the frigid California air. The girls had to make it to the announcement, they just had to. Sure enough, at exactly eight o'clock, we got the word. Barack Obama will be our 44th president.
"Mama, did he win?"
"Yes, Smedley, he won."
"What's a donkey, Mama?"
"And what's an elephant?"
"I'm a donkey."
"Which one are you?"
"Neither one, actually."
A well-known female journalist came on-screen. "Her nose is HUGE, Mama."
"She's a very good journalist, honey."
"With a very big nose. Mama?"
"You know the place we went to vote?"
"It really smelled."
"But did you notice how fast we voted? We didn't even have to wait in line."
"Yeah. But it smelled. Mama?"
The screen changed to show coverage of California's Proposition 8, the vote on gay marriage. Stock footage of gay pride parades and same-sex weddings rolled across the screen. Rosie O'Donnell and her wife were shown walking down stairs after their wedding.
"Mama? Is that the Queen of England?"
"Not really, Smedley."
"I want to go to bed. Is this over?"
"Yes, honey. I just wanted you to see this. It will be something you'll want to remember if you can."
"I'll never forget this night as long as I live, Mama."
Me neither, Smed.