When Barack Obama brought Michelle and their daughters out onto the stage in Chicago before he gave his victory speech, I surprised myself by being overcome by emotion. As tears welled up in my eyes, M looked at me quizzically and asked, “But… was he the one you wanted to win?” He knew I hadn’t known who I wanted to vote for the whole time.
“It’s not that,” I said. “It’s not whether I wanted him to win or not… It’s that…” I actually had to stop for a moment to get my words out. “It’s just that, when he was born, he wasn’t even able to drink from the same water fountain as our two girls would have.”
I don’t know how familiar M is with that bit of American history, but I saw the full realisation pass across his face. He looked back at the telly, to the four joyous faces of that small family on the screen.
And he nodded. “Yeah.”
No matter what changes are in store, the change our country has undergone during this man’s lifetime — that that little boy could grow up to be elected President — that is a change I can believe in.