It is not very often that you watch something that you know is historic.
Political beliefs and differences aside, you have to admit that Tuesday was pretty unbelievable.
Seeing the unthinkable number of people gathered to rally around a new president was amazing.
We were encouraged to watch the inauguration with our class if we wanted to.
I remember sitting in elementary school watching Clinton's inauguration, and that wasn't even "historic."
I'm not sure how much my Kindergarteners would get out of watching the inauguration, but I was sure I didn't want to miss it, so I found a way to watch it. Google came through for me with a Barack Obama coloring sheet to keep my kids busy with during the show. I told them they could either sit at their seats and color, or they could pull some chairs up to the TV and watch the inauguration. Either way, they needed to be aware of what was happening, what the big hooplah was all about.
About half chose to color, the other half chose to watch. I could've predicted who would've done what and I would've been right. Even at five, you can tell the kids that have a sense of life outside of themselves, and those that don't. I sat with the kids watching the TV and nearly fell out of the chair laughing from a few of their comments. The adult world of politics collided with my crazy world of five years olds. When you spend all day with them, you start to think of them as adultish. When you bring in something new and different, you really see how truly LITTLE they are.
1) I was trying to explain what a president does and why this particular president is important. I told them there has never been a girl president, then I asked if any of them would ever want to be president. About five of them raised their hands, many of them girls. I said "wow, maybe you might be our first girl president! You better invite me to your inauguration if you become president" to one of my little girls and she lit up. Suddenly she looked really excited and exclamed "I'M GOING TO WEAR MY HANNAH MONTANA DRESS!" She was thrilled that she has already figured out her inauguration attire.
2) When Aretha Franklin sang, one little girl leaned over and whispered in my ear "Is she married to Obama?" and I laughed and said no, she's just a famous singer. She thought for a minute and leaned over and asked "Are they at least friends?" Haha. Many made comments about her big hat.
3) A group of three girls were sitting next to each other when one of them suggested they play "mom". The other two looked confused and the first clarified: "I'm going to be Michelle Obama, you two can be the daughters" which then set off an argument that consisted of "I want to be Michelle Obama" "No I want to be Michelle Obama" "No I do"...
4) I got into a more indepth conversation with my little Hannah Montana dress wearing future president. I asked her why she wanted to be president. This was her honest response: "The president gets to live in the White House. Only you have to be careful when you go there, you can't break nothing." Haha. Both literally and theoretically true!
5) One kid turned to me at some point and said "Why does everyone cheering for him look so sad?" I then tried to explain that sometimes people cry when they are happy. He simply looked at me like I was nuts, rolled his eyes, and turned back to the TV.
6) One less interested kid turned to me during one of the more borring parts and asked if there were cartoons coming. Ha.
7) Everytime they would show Obama on the TV the kids were cheer and scream. It was as if they were seeing the Beatles. Many of the coloring pages turned out pretty good. Others had Obama wearing pink eye makeup and lipstick. Not exactly "patriotic" but pretty funny nonetheless. Chris had to remind me that they ARE five.
8) Later in the afternoon, way after the inauguration was over, we were working on a writing prompt that had to be done by the next morning. It was about what they do on a snowy day or something. Of course the vice principal chose this time to come do an informal evaluation. I thought all went ok. Later I got his notes from his visit. One of the observations was "4 or 5 kids were having a discussion about whether Obama is black or brown." Clearly not what they should've been doing at that time, but I think that's a pretty good conversation for Kindergarteners. I don't think the VP was amused. I was.
It was a pretty hillarious experience that I will never forget. I'm glad I got to share such a historic moment with the true youth of America. These are the kids that will be most affected by decisions made by this and coming administrations. I can only believe they will be treated with the respect they deserve.
Perhaps in 30 years we'll see my little one in a Hannah Montana dress becoming the first hispanic woman president... and the world will marvel at her awesome fashion sense.
Here's to a bright future.