Almost eight years ago, I was great with child. My belly was great, my ass was great, my feet were great....
We hadn't met Joe-Henry yet, a fact I now find so hard to fathom. I had never seen him or heard his voice, but he was profoundly a part of me, and it was his future I thought of as I cast my ballot for Al Gore. I felt confident, knowing that this great country that I love wouldn't fall for a frat boy, even if he was the son of a former President.
After we voted, we strolled down Hollywood Boulevard, and I made ready for my weekly doctors appointment. My fantastic ob/gyn, a liberal like myself, held my hand as she told me I'd be put on bed-rest due to my blood pressure. With only two weeks to go until my due date, I groaned, but felt lucky that they caught it, and knew I'd be okay. I thought I'd go home, and watch the election returns, knowing that there would at least be a new president by the time my boy arrived.
Except there wasn't. Talk about high blood pressure. I'm fairly certain George W. Bush is to blame for my nearly stroking out after my emergency C-section (leaving me wide open for Sarah Palin to give me shingles 8 years later). There would not be a FINAL count until December 18th, and even then, it has always remained the most questionable election in the history of the United States. Many people (Al Gore & Myself included) think that the election was stolen. Al Gore has actually moved on. I on the other hand....
Nearly eight years have passed since casting that ballot for Al Gore. My son arrived; the election fell to the bottom of my worry list when we learned that our baby had a rare syndrome called Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome; we lost sleep and learned to be parents. Our boy is getting tall now, loving sports and music and school, and can roll his eyes at his mother with the panache of a teenager.
But I still remember a more innocent time - when my son was a baby, and presidential hankypanky was the worst offense happening in the oval office.
My candidate has a pretty good lead, but the last eight years have shown us more dirty tricks than a naked magician.
Still, I am trying to stay positive.
For my son.
Because now that I've known him a while, I think I'd like him to inherit a better America than the one he's known so far.