Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We've Had a Ball!

We twirled and tangoed 'til our toes tingled.
It was a ball!

I'm a true TravelinOma this week, in charge of four of my faraway Heroes, while their parents take a well-earned break in Hawaii. We've celebrated some other heroes, Martin Luther King and Barack Obama, the last couple of days with a little playacting.

How did it feel to be a little black girl, marched into an all white school with police bodyguards? What was it like to be sent to the back of the bus? Was it humiliating to have to use a different bathroom than all the other folks? The kids can picture it a little better now, having acted these stories out yesterday. We ended the history lesson with lunch in the kitchen, where we re-enacted a lunch counter scene. When the waitress (Oma) wouldn't seat Katy (11) and Will (6) at the table, they staged a sit-in.

While I read some excerpts of the I Have a Dream speech, the kids each imagined ways they could make the world better; that was followed by a game of Charades until we had guessed everyone's dreams.

Luckily, by the time the kids came back to the lunch counter, Martin Luther King had influenced society for the better, and the waitress was able to seat everyone together for root beer floats. It was the ultimate combination of black and white!

Today the kids and I all watched the Inauguration. Their mom was an Obama campaign volunteer, so they felt the victory in a personal way. Each of us toasted our new president. Lauren (9) said, "Make history!" and Katy said, "Do your best." Jake (4) ended the round with a heartfelt, "I just love you, Barack Obama!"

Not wanting to miss out on a thing, we put on some music and had our own inaugural party. I explained what a ball was, and how the guests wore beautiful dresses, and fancy tuxedos. As the girls were pirouetting around the family room, the little boys disappeared. Soon they were back downstairs wearing their Sunday shirts over their pajamas. They were a little disappointed the rest of us weren't in formal attire!

There is nothing like a few grandkids to put a spring in my step. With the polka, the waltz and some vintage swing moves, we celebrated the big day. The kids whirled up to bed and I staggered to the couch, my heart racing with more than just excitement. Living history is a ball!


Kay Dennison said...


Linsey said...

You are a wonderful grandmother. What a marvelous way to make history come alive.

Bev said...

and you will have given them a memory and a lesson in history that will stick

well done!

Christie said...

You are such a good grandma. Do we tell you that enough?

anna jo said...

oma, you are such a good oma! seriously. what a fun thing to do with the heroes.

kenju said...

In my next life, I want you to be my grandmother!

Polly said...

That sounds like so much fun! Will you come and tend me?

Keri(th) said...

Your celebrations sounds absolutely divine! We had our own evening of excitement as we sifted through six hours of dvr'd footage trying to re-live that fantastic moment when power shifted and the world forever changed.

And what a speech!