Prior to blogging, I kept a message board to keep up with friends and family through pregnancy and mommyhood. I'm working on bringing those posts to this blog.
I got a call Fri evening from the Obama campaign office by my house- do I want a chance to MEET Obama?? HELL YEAH!
Private event, I can bring 4 people with me, in a park, bring dessert, he will have his family with him. "Hamilton County Family Picnic"
Called my friend Latifa and asked if her family (husband and son) wanted to come.
So on Saturday afternoon, me, Teagan, Zach, Latifa, and Nate (who is a high school senior who will be attending Morehouse in the fall) head off to this park. We get there a little after 2. We wait in the security line FOREVER, it seemed. Teagan did awesome. Got into the park and T was very anxious to get over to the playground so she and I headed over there with Zach while Latifa and Nate headed over to the shelter where the giant crowd was to scope out the situation. I went and sat on a picnic table and nursed while T went up and down the slide fifty times. It went from cool and sunny to cold and gray and windy. I had Zach all bundled up and T was playing too much to feel the cold.
We played for about 45 minutes like that. Then the busses came. Zach was asleep, bundled in a blanket in my arms. The crowd was thick around the stage where Obama was to address the crowd. I knew we couldn't get into it.
The energy was fantastic. Michelle Obama addressed the crowd first. And the first thing she said was that her girls were heading to the playground to play- and they did and Teagan got to play with/near them! The girls are adorable, of course. It was really cool to watch the Secret Service, too. Each girl has her own "handler" that she obviously spends a lot of time with. And then there are the suits around the perimeter who are watching all the rest of us. It was pretty neat to see.
So Michelle spoke about how special this was becuase they rarely get to travel as a family anymore and spend this kind of time together. She spoke about her belief in her husband and how desperately the country needs a change. Then Barack Obama took the mic. I don't think he said anything different than he says anywhere else. He spoke about how his story is unique to the USA. He spoke about hope and faith in our country. He spoke about specific issues like the war, gas prices, higher education, etc. I missed a chunk of his speech because Teagan had to go potty. Me, a stroller with a 3 year old in it, and a sleeping baby (who fell asleep NOT in his carrier but in my arms)... struggling around the perimeter of the crowd, through the picnic shelter to the only opening in the roped perimeter that leads to the bathrooms. Get the stroller outside the bathroom and get Teagan out and lay Zachy down in it. Thankfully, he stays asleep through the actual pottying going on. The flushing manages to wake him up. We head back out- but aren't allowed to re-enter where we exited because it is only manned by a Noblesville officer, not a secret service person with a wand. So we have to hike all the way back to the main entry point to get cleared again. *sigh*
So I missed most of Obama's speech. I did get T into the picnic shelter where she enjoyed some cake and strawberries while the crowd continued to press in whatever direction Obama was at the moment.
So... I got within... 50 feet, maybe... of Barack and Michelle Obama.
Teagan did get to slide with his youngest daughter. His kids were awesome. I wish we could have spent more time on the playground. Once folks figured out that his kids really were playin gover there, it became very packed as everyone wanted their kid to befriend his kids.
So it was a good experience overall. I am hugely disappointed that I did not get to actually shake his hand or Michelle's hand. I am hugely disappointed to have not gotten the chance to sit and listen to his speech.
But... my friend... she and her son got to shake his hand at least twice- as he got off the bus and as he got back on. Her birthday is this month so I guess I gave her a pretty amazing birthday present!! And I think this counts as a great gradutation gift for Nate. So I can live through their accounts of actually shaking his hand and being so close to his energy and being surrounded by the energy of the crowd.
If you look closely, you can see Michelle Obama speaking and Barack is behind her, smiling.
And here, again, look closely, Barack Obama is speaking.
We had fun on the playground... here are the Obama girls on the swings, with their secret service handlers.
Teagan's butt and the back of Obama's youngest daughter's head.
And here was the best part of the day for T and Z: