Monday, October 13, 2014

The First Lady & My Daughter

Last week I let Lucy miss a day of school to go to a Democratic rally.  A rally where the First Lady Michelle Obama was headlining. 

It was a beautiful day in Detroit. The kind of October day that makes you love Michigan--blue sky, chilly but not cold, leaves turning colors, the kind of Fall day you see in movies and commercials.  

The energy was just as amazing as the blue sky.  People were excited and energized and anxious to see the First Lady.  Volunteers from the local candidates' offices were asking people to sign up to help in the last few weeks before the November 4th elections.  And people were signing up!  People wanted to be involved. 

For Lucy this was school.  She got to see the democratic process in action.  She got to hear how voting matters, elections matter, the people matter.  
Lucy even brought her notebook to take some notes.

For me, it was sort of my church.  I saw old friends that have become like family, I watched as candidates I helped plan small house parties for years ago now introducing the First Lady, I connected with young people that I met years ago when they were interns and now they are working for senators and campaigns.  I was amen-ing when speakers talked about fair pay and equal rights.  I hooped and hollered my support.  I nodded my head and felt solidarity and hope and inspiration.  

I said we went, I didn't say we got the greatest seats in the place.  But it was still unbelievable.
I leaned over and asked Lucy if this made her want to run for office.  "No," she said emphatically.  

My first thought was "What!? Why not? Don't you feel like going out and changing the world and becoming a Senator and maybe even the first woman to be the President of the United States, but dude really hopefully I hope you are the second or even third before you run because you are only 10, but how could this not make you want to run for something?"

But that's not why I really brought Lucy.  I brought my daughter to the rally to show her a part of how politics work in our country.  I brought her to be a part of history, so she can say "I heard the First Lady speak when I was a kid."  I brought her to show her a part of me that isn't just asking her to pick up her room, bugging her about homework and driving everyone everywhere.  While I find such overwhelmingly tremendous value in caring for my family and giving them life skills and making sure they are involved in afterschool activities, I want my kids to know I am even more than that.  

Michelle Obama was a powerful, passionate speaker.
She owned the room.

Watching how she interacted with people was special.  She was gracious and encouraging to everyone from the young girls to the teenage boys to the elderly women who stood in line to greet her, hug her and get a picture with her.  

I want my daughter to see that she can be a mother and an activist.  I want her to see first hand that she can be a mother and a First Lady or a mother and a Senator.  I want her to know she has a voice in the world through running for public office or just getting involved and most importantly by voting.

"If you grow up to be a Republican Catholic like your dad, I think that would be wonderful, as long as you vote," I told her.  Just because I take her to a Methodist church and Democratic rallies doesn't mean I want to raise a Methodist Democrat.   I want her to be whatever she wants.  I just want her to experience not being on the sidelines of life.  My wish for all my children is to be an active participant in their lives, to get involved and build a community for themselves, to be passionate about issues but open to people with different opinions.  

Here we are with my friend Dodi and U.S. State Rep Gary Peters who is running for the Senate.
But the biggest reason I took my daughter last Friday is because I love having the opportunity to spend a day with my girl.

Blurry iPhone pic, but all kinds of perfect.


  1. Love. Your passion makes me wish I was more involved, outwardly. I care a ton on the inside and at the voting booth, but I am not as vocal as I should be.

  2. I love that you took her to this and are teaching her to be involved and that her voice has worth at such a young age.

  3. I think that these are the way we teach, encourage, inform our younger generation. You're a really incredible mom and human. :)

  4. You are an amazing mom! Whatever Lucy chooses to do, it'd be what's right for her, and she'll know that you're fully behind her, always.

  5. You are a wonderful example to her, Angela! I love that you are encouraging her to get involved.

  6. I love how you teach your children by showing them how important these things are to you.