When I found out that Hillary would be campaigning in NC on Thursday I really wanted to be there. I have been rooting for Hillary for the past decade. I dug out my Elect Hillary button and hoped that I could make it. But I am a package deal that comes with two little guys, so I thought it was unlikely that that stars would align for all of us to go.
Going to school and living in DC really fostered my desire to be near politicians. I lived for presidential sightings back in the day. I saw Bill Clinton out running once. Remember when Bush ate at Cactus Cantina when we were in college? I wasn’t there (no one was there, because they cleared out the restaurant for him to dine), but the thought was pretty thrilling (sorry Dad). We went to Obama’s first inauguration and had tickets on the lawn so we were actually close enough to see him. I really wanted to see Hillary in the flesh.
As luck would have it the rally was only 30 minutes away from Ellis’ school and it was at a pretty convenient time in the afternoon. I thought I could take both the boys. It said the doors opened at 1:50 and the rally started at 3:50. I thought the boys could nap on the drive over and we would head inside around 2:30 or 3 and then see the rally. No sweat. In hindsight I am not really sure what I was thinking because most days I can’t brave a 45 minute trip to the grocery store with the kids. Today I was ambitious and despite it all the kids really rose to the challenge.
It was almost 80 degrees and when we arrived the line was starting to wrap around the building. I found parking and decided to wake Ellis from his nap, which is usually as risky as rousing a dragon. It was already 1:50 so I figured they would start letting people in. The security line was S L O W. We stood in line for 3 hours. We were some of the last people that made it into the small high school gymnasium.
We stood in the last row. But we got to see her and it was really neat to be able to show the boys the woman I hope will be our next president. She was regal and personable and inspiring. She also seems to have very good posture. (These are the kind of insider observations you can only glean from spying on someone in person :))
Calvin is in precisely the right developmental moment to attend a rally. He claps furiously at everything, dances to any and all music and can scream as loud as he wants because everyone else is too. Ellis was a trooper and read a lot of books on the floor. He spent much of the rally hiding under my skirt when it got too loud.
As we shuffled out of the gym after the rally I shared a nod of solidarity with the only other parent going it solo with little ones. She trudged past with a toddler strapped on her back and a baby strapped on her front. I had Calvin on my chest and Ellis on my shoulders. Seeing another person who had completed the same crazy feat as me made me feel a little less insane for taking my two little boys to a political rally by myself.
There is nothing like a rally to bring out the varsity mom inside of all of us.