Today I watched while Patience zipped up Lyra in a front-pack carrier and headed off to the National Mall with Dave and a small collection of friends determined to watch history in the making. Lines quickly morphed into crowds, cell phone coverage was sketchy and the chances of hearing let alone getting up towards the front were slim. Still, the desire to be connected and to be a part of something new overruled more practical concerns.
Madeleine and two of her friends decided at the last minute they wanted to go downtown, too, while the boy cousins opted to stay home, sleep in and celebrate by playing the Wii. No matter. This is the first inauguration our children are most likely to remember, and chances are good that they'll grow up thinking it's completely unremarkable that a black man served as President of the United States. They'll reflect not on the color of his skin but the content of his character. They'll have a hard time wrapping their minds around the idea that anyone ever thought it could not happen. They'll marvel that it took us so long to understand that this is the way it was always meant to be.