Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hope and Change

Two years ago today Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States...
My niece Parker was born...
And I had no intentions of having a baby...
At least not anytime soon.

I had covered the new president from the time he started his campaign.  I remembered the big moments, like the grand announcement of Obama's candidacy in Springfield, IL, the Democratic National Convention and his acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver, and election night in Grant Park.  But I also remembered the less significant moments.  The teenager who played trumpet for Obama during a campaign stop in the midwest, the farmers market where he bought peaches, and the way he went on, and on, and on about how good the pie tastes in Ohio (I'm not making that up). 
I was happy to be culminating my experience by producing a three minute piece for the top of our broadcast on inauguration night.  
I had watched every live feed from every part of Obama's day.  From the church, to the Capitol, to the parade route, to the White House.  I knew every shot I was going to use to illustrate this historic day. 
But it's live television.  And things are never easy in live television. 
My deadline for air was 6 p.m.  At 5:30 I was still missing a major piece of the puzzle due to technical difficulties.  My heart was pounding, my palms were sweating, and I was pretty sure I would vomit at any second.   I could just picture our anchor tossing to my story and there being a big black hole and dead air.
Long story short... we made it.  How we pulled off this miracle, I will never know.  But it was an adrenaline rush so great that it cannot be put into words.

Now... Things are different.  But not SO much.
Every day is a challenge, every day I manage to pull it off, and every day I thank a greater power for getting me to the finish line.... 
Until it all starts again the following morning (these days at 5:45 a.m.!)

Two years ago I never thought I'd be a stay-at-home-mom working my ass off all day long and never really getting credit. (Yes, I have a great husband who constantly tells me I'm doing a wonderful job, but... you get my drift.  No paycheck, no "atta girl" emails, no promotions.)
Two years ago I thought I had the greatest job in the world, and a baby would just get in the way of a promising and exciting career. 
Now I found myself looking back at my life as a news producer with just a sliver of nostalgia.  I miss the routine, the unpredictable nature of the news cycle, the pride that comes with watching your hard work play out on a TV screen.  
But all those moments are so small compared to the elation I see on my daughter's face when she eats smashed sweet potatoes, or the joy I feel when I hear her giggle.  I know I can always go back to "work" work.  But for now - despite the fact that it's in my nature to approach motherhood with cynicism and sarcasm - I couldn't be happier.  And you'd be surprised by the adrenaline rush that comes with trying to hoist a 20 pound 7 month old up two flights of stairs. 

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