Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

#15: Inauguration Day Part 2 – Freezin’ for a reason

January 21, 2009

Obama's Inaugural speech: On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord." --Obama's Inaugural speech

The sun shines across my laptop as I type, though this Californian isn’t so easily fooled. I’ve discovered that the January sun in DC doesn’t mean t-shirt weather. (Who knew?) At this moment… 9:59 AM, January 21, 2009, it’s 21 degrees in Fairfax, VA  but due to the wind chill factor it “feels like” 10! I did my “Freezin’ for a reason” yesterday so I’m grateful not to be out in it today. Come to think of it, this morning I’m feeling grateful for many things.

I’m grateful for a good night’s sleep and as promised, I’m now ready to start writing about my experiences at the Inauguration. To get me in the mood to ruminate, I’ve spent the past hour reading other blogs and looking through online images of Malia and Sasha from yesterday’s events and video of the President and First Lady dancing at an Inaugural ball.

I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve still got tears in my eyes. What’s that about? I look at the Obamas and think: Yes! This family now represents America, to us and to the world. Barack and Michelle Obama… good-hearted people who have worked hard as individuals and as a couple. They obviously love and support each other. They are obviously terrific parents. Their daughters are obviously open-hearted girls — friendly, polite, respectful, full of joy.

The First Family reflects the best of America. We haven’t had that for a long time. And from the many people I’ve talked with over the past 8 years, we have longed for it, prayed for it like people in a drought praying for rain. It feels like it’s been dry and dark and fearful and strange in America for a long time. That’s why I’m extremely grateful that this day has come. That America finally has a leader who reflects our values and can take us in the direction we need to go. The rain has begun and it feels just fine.

Here’s the full text of President Obama’s Inaugural Address. Read or watch the video and tell me what you think.

Obama's Inaugural speech: On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." --Obama's Inaugural speech

One paragraph that jumped out at me: “Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.”

We all have faced “a difficult task” from time to time. Maybe, right now, in your life you are facing one. Or you know someone who is. What do you tell yourself at those times to keep you moving forward and doing what needs to be done? I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.

On the flip side, everyone has experienced the pride and satisfaction that comes with “giving our all” and being part of the solution to a problem.  Tell me about what you’ve done and how it helped.

More about the Inauguration in my next blog.

Filed under: Inauguration,Politics,Teens — Tags: , — Annie @ 9:02 am
---------

#14: Inauguration Day Part 1 – WE are here

January 20, 2009

Crowds filled the entire Mall, with estimates of close to 2 million. We were about a mile from the actual proceedings. (Click photo for larger view - Jewel Samad-AFP/Getty Images)

Crowds filled the entire Mall, with estimates of close to 2 million. We were about a mile from the actual proceedings. (Click photo for larger view - Jewel Samad-AFP/Getty Images)

We left our hotel this frigid morning by the light of the crescent moon. 22 degrees at 5:02. Finally the Big Day had arrived and we were jazzed.

When we returned 14 hours later, the temperature had only warmed up to 25. (Just kidding, it actually peaked at 30 out there on the National Mall).

Those of you who watched the Inauguration on TV are probably wondering “What was it like to be there?” There’s a whole lot to tell about and I want to… I set up this whole blog project just so I could! But, honestly, it will probably take at least a day for me to begin formulating my thoughts, feelings, impressions, and questions. So the short answer to your question is “It was AWESOME!!!!”

Like one young man had written on the back of his T-shirt: “We’re freezin’ for a reason!”

He got that right! And I’ve gotta get some sleep. I promise tomorrow I’ll blog more about what happened. In the meantime, here are a few pix from this amazing day in American history:

Crammed into the Metro with 2000 others. It took us about three hours to get to DC.

Crammed into the Metro with 2000 others. It took us about three hours to get to DC. Normally it takes about 1/2 an hour.

 

Three Obamas walk to the National Mall.

Three Obamas walk to the National Mall.

 

Celebration the moment President Obama was took the oath of office.

Lots of emotion the moment President Obama took the Oath of Office.

Much more about the inauguration later. Suffice it to say that we are SO pleased, proud, relieved, inspired, delighted, and hope-filled because of our new President. The man is a once in a lifetime leader and America and the world needs him desperately.

Filed under: Inauguration,Politics,Teens — Tags: , , — Annie @ 7:27 pm
---------

#13: We’re here to help

January 19, 2009

Sorting books was a big group effort

Lots of books needed lots of sorting

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, today is a National Day of Service. President-elect Obama visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before stopping at Sasha Bruce House (a shelter for homeless teens) where he rolled up his sleeves and helped paint the walls.

In the spirit of service, David and I took the Metro down to  Shaw Junior High School (near Howard University) and joined dozens of volunteers sorting through books that had been emptied out of now-closed schools. It was a complete jumble! Middle school books were mixed in with elementary and pre-school. History, math and fiction with biography, poetry and science. Our job? To sort them by categories (tossing out outdated ones and any books in poor condition) and box them up so that school librarians could easily shelve them in their new homes in other schools in DC.

Even when it comes to books, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Annie, and two other women from Marin!

Annie, Sarah and Caitlin, both from Marin!

Sorting through Social Studies and Science books

Sorting through Fairy Tales, Social Studies and Science books

Right before the stack toppled

Right before this stack toppled

Any day can be a day of service to your school or  your community. Dr. King said that true greatness comes in serving others. Lending a helping hand also makes you feel good about who you are. Interested? There’s a Global Youth Service Day coming up in April. How can you be of service?

Filed under: Inauguration,Politics,Teens — Tags: — Annie @ 3:54 pm
---------

#12: Rock on!

We Are One crowd from above. The arrow points to where we were standing.

We Are One crowd from above. The arrow points to where we were standing.

You know how when you’re hearing really great music performed live and you just feel like dancing? And if you’re with a few friends and they’re into the music, well, you can really get into it.

Well imagine 500,000 really happy people listening to some of the world’s best pop musicians… and you start to get a sense of what yesterday’s We Are One concert at the Lincoln Memorial was like. And let me tell you, when Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder, and Beyonce (to name a few), start doing their thing, we all got into it. Even Barack and Michelle were bopping to the music! 

No words can really capture the feeling of what this concert was like, so I’m just going to let the pictures tell the story. Enjoy!

Before the concert, we're pretty far back!

Annie, before the concert. See the Lincoln Memorial behind her? That's where the stage is.

The crowd, as viewed from the foot of the Washington Monument

The crowd, seen from the base of the Washington Monument

Telephoto shot of the Lincoln Memorial and frozen reflecting pool, taken from the foot of the Washington Monument.

Telephoto shot of the Lincoln Memorial and frozen reflecting pool, taken from the base of the Washington Monument.

View from behind us, looking back towards the Washington Monument

View from behind us, looking back towards the Washington Monument

Garth Brooks singing "Shout"

The crowd watching the crowd

Garth Brooks singing "Shout"

Garth Brooks singing "Shout"

Some of us joined in

Some of us joined in

Finally, President-elect Obama takes the stage

Finally, President-elect Obama takes the stage

Filed under: Inauguration,Politics,Teens — Annie @ 3:33 pm
---------
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »
Find Annie Fox: Find Annie on Facebook Find Annie on Twitter Find Annie on Pinterest Find Annie on YouTube Find Annie on Google+ Find Annie on LinkedIn Find Annie on Goodreads Find Annie on Quora