Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Michelle on The Street

Harrison recognized Michelle Obama on Sesame Street. Pointed and made sure I was looking. Then sighed and went back to watching intently, because she shared the screen with Elmo and a talking tomato, and one can only ask so much of a one-year-old boy.

I see, Harry. I see the First Lady. She's talking about growing vegetables and looking fantastic. I think it's cool that you know who that is. It feels like it means something. It feels right that you should recognize her.

Lennon calls Barack "Uncle Bama" still. She saw him on TV about two years ago, and could sense that he was someone important. She, too, shared his presence with me. I remember still how she looked back and smiled big, and said, as though it were Santa Claus himself, "That's Uncle Bama!" I loved it so much, I asked her to name him every chance I could.

I started to wonder if it was not weirdly offensive to someone who conjures images of Uncle Tom or Uncle Remus with her mispronunciation of our President's first name. It's sad that I thought of that, isn't it? That I worried someone would hear "Uncle Bama" in the grocery store, and take it for a crude nickname from the whitest-looking girl in America. I assure you, suspicious one, it was born of awe and excitement. It came from knowing he would mean something. I stopped worrying about it, and just took comfort in the way she felt about him.

I love that Harrison wanted to show me Michelle. "Look, Ma, you know that lady. You cried that one time she was on TV. See? She's on my shows." And it made me proud of my children, because they seem to know great, important people when they see them.

Of course, it's also highly likely he just thought First Lady Michelle Obama was grandma. They kind of have the same hair.


monika said...

haha he may have thought Michelle Obama was mom. ;)

Michelle said...

When I first read Uncle Bama I actually didn't think about Uncle Tom's Cabin or anything. I just thought it was a term for endearment cause you guys liked him so much.

I think it's pretty awesome how they are doing so much to get people to feel like they know them more. Getting kids to recognize the First Lady and the President is good to help them care about politics later in life.

Cute! I can't wait to have kids who say awesome things like that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Harrison did think it was me! That's cool, Harrison!


Becky said...

Your kids are so cute! I just spent some time refinding your blog. Now, I'm a follower :D