Sunday, May 04, 2008

Life's a picnic . . .

I'm certain Robert will blog about this as well, but here's my account of the day. . .

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and till and sod the backyard. About half-way through my day I received a phone call from Obama headquarters asking if I could provide food for the Obama family picnic on Sunday. I agreed and volunteered to be at the pavilion by 12:30 with pasta salad for 100 people. I was working in the yard until about 8:00 came in and did a quick cleaning for the Obama volunteers we were housing this weekend and and sat down for a few minutes to chat with the ladies from Michigan who had come to "Knock for Barack". I headed to the grocery shortly after 10:30 and was still boiling noodles at 2:00 am.

Today we were at the park at 12:30 to drop the food and then we volunteered for the sign-up table. Shortly after we were let into the venue, I was standing near the front with McCartney and a gentleman from the campaign came over and said, "Mrs. Rouse, can I have you stand here with this staffer we have something special for you to do." After finding Robert and the boys, they joined me and the staffer informed us that they would like us to sit at the tables with Senator Obama in be in the line of the cameras. I nearly peed. We were ushered into the sectioned off area and given instructions as to how we were to behave. We could not leave the area since we were inside of the secret service perimeter so we had to just wait and wait. The line for the buffet wrapped right around where we were and we saw lots of friends and acquaintances. It was a really nice day and wonderful to see so many show up in support of Barack Obama, Michelle and the kids.

Shortly before they arrived, the staffer asked if McCartney and I would move to the table that the Senator and his family would be eating at. I was nervous and excited. The next first family showed up and greeted the crowd and then the Senator spoke. He then worked the rope line and went over to the grassy area. He then came back over to our area, greeted Robert and shook his hand. He posed for a picture for us and as I was taking it Harrison ran over and hugged the Senator's knees. It was so sweet!

The Senator immediately reached down and picked Harrison up as I had tears in my eyes, knowing my kids were part of history. He spoke to Harrison and then to McCartney and told her she had a beautiful dress and pretty toenails. (they were blue and red) Dustin told him he was pleased to meet him. He shook my hand and then turned to Robert and said, "What is it that I can do for you?" Amazing. Robert told him about Dustin's Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and that he was a stay at home dad due to Dustin's "hidden disability. He told him that I was in Early Childhood Education (which he actually spoke about during his speech) He commended us on our efforts and rubbed the kids on the head, wished Harrison a happy birthday Wednesday and was on his way. All in all he spent about 5 minutes with our family. Amazing!

It was a fantastic day! One I will not soon forget. One I will relish when Barack is sitting in the White House in 8 short months. Check out these fabulous pictures. . .

The family while we were waiting. We had my mom praying for the kids behavior to be fantastic. Apparently the prayers for McCartney hadn't yet reached heaven. Check out the grumpiness.

There's a smile! It's about time. She did however get everything she wanted because we really didn't want a blow up. I did however have to threaten her with the secret service taking her away a few times.

Robert and the man of the hour. This was taken just as Harrison ran up to him and hugged his knees.

Harrison is thrilled. Can you tell? Directly behind me are about 2 dozen photographers snapping away. Boy, that man can sure smile.

You can tell he is the father of two girls. He was telling her that she had a beautiful dress on and that he liked her painted toenails. She was smitten.

Truly the only thing that stressed me out was the fact that as we left there were teenagers standing along Clinton Street right outside the pavilion carrying signs that said "Abortion Kills Children". I hate that it was attempted to make me feel ashamed to support this wonderful man because of his stance on legal abortions. My first reaction (and Robert's as well, who was up ahead of me) was to say, "You're right it does. So does war." Just because I don't believe in abortion and don't believe I would make that choice for me, it is legal and I support the right to choose. I hate that these people look at anyone who supports Obama as "baby killers". It makes me sick. Enough on that subject. I'm getting grumpy on my wonderful day. . .
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Blogger Cindy Harvey said...

Good for you! What an exciting day in the history of your family, and no one deserved it more!

Angie and I got to shake his hand (at the same time, she had his left, I had his right) and we about died :o)

As far as the protestors...they've been at every Obama event, including Michelle's appearance at North Side High. I actually engaged the leader in some conversation....shattered his paradigm when I said I was a pro-life republican voting for Barack. His jaw dropped and he stammered a bit. I also asked politely if he'd read Barack's website ("oh yes" he said)...then I said "then you've of course read the wonderful letter he received from the prominent pro-life doctor and how the Senator prayed about his decision on the legalities of abortion and did a lot of soul searching." Then I smiled brightly, turned around and walked into the school.

He just went into robot mode and clipped off in a monotone to my back: "3000 babies a day"

You'll find humor in this: Angie's hubby noticed one of the high schoolers holding a protest sign on the way out had an Obama t-shirt slung over his shoulder!

Sorry this comment is so long! What a great day, eh?

9:10 PM, May 04, 2008  
Blogger Ian MacD said...

As a Canadian we just wish Americans would think more worldly and, maybe, just maybe the American way is NOT the way the rest of the world wants to live and work. I think Obama is the first leader in living memory who will sit down and 'talk to our enemies' rather than going into so many stupid wars like Iraq and Viet Nam. Maybe Americans can be kinder and gentler under Obama

12:15 AM, May 11, 2008  

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