It's the babies, stupid

October 25, 2008 by susan
newborn twins. boy and girl, facing eachother

Well, we had no idea that twins would take more than double the time of one newborn. It's exponential. We are a family running on fumes. But, tonight these little cupcakes seem to be settling down. On Monday I return to Minneapolis to spend 16 hours a day on GOTV (get out the vote) for Obama, Al Franken, and Keith Ellison. (My, gasp, Muslim representative, who will win easily. And guess what? He's a "decent American" as John McCain would say. And it was he, not Barack Obama, who was sworn in on a Koran that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, and the dome did not blow off of the Capitol.)
Babies! Read on!

I'll also be rooting hard for Elwyn Tinklenberg, who is now in a dead heat with wack-job Michelle Bachman in Minnesota's 6th district. Did I mention being embarrassed by Minnesota from time to time? Nothing about Elwyn embarrasses me, although his name does give some pause.

But, back to the world of twins. (Did I mention being tired? This will be incoherent.)

1.) How in the world do young couples or single parents who have no family support or money for help get through these first weeks alive? Our healthy babies came home when they were about a day and a half old. They had two parents, two older brothers, an auntie and a granny on hand to help, and it was still frazzling to the core, particularly for the parents who got not a wink of sleep that first night, and only two or three the second. What becomes of the smaller frailer baby or babies, who go home to a house where both parents are young and inexperienced and one parent returns to work ASAP and the (m)other will have to return to work in two months or less? Something's wrong with this start in life, and it sets the tone for how little we really value children in America. It takes a village, or, lacking that, a better maternal health care system, including education and home support and a much longer maternity leave, if desired, to raise healthy families. But we can't even get around to insuring America's children, so crazy me for thinking this matters.

2.) At first I was in political withdrawal thinking about being here. How could I miss the final stretch of the most important campaign of my life? But then again, how could I miss the birth of these babies, and being part of the family web that I refer to above? It wasn't really a hard choice at all. But as I nodded out on the porch glider yesterday, with one baby asleep on my chest, the other swaddled tightly next to me, I realized that these babies are really what this election is all about.
I'm nearing the final lap of life's oval, but these little warm ciabattas sleeping near me and on me, and others like them all over America, heck, the world, don't even have their running shoes on yet.
Like most people, I don't like to leave a mess for the person who comes next. Wait. Scratch that. That's actually what the entire reign of Bush has been all about -- grab it now, and to hell with our kids and yours, who will have to pick up, pay off, and apologize to the world for our party.

Let's try that again. For those of us who think we should leave our children a better world, or at least an inhabitable one, Barack Obama must win this election. It's the babies, stupid. And I'm glad I was here to be reminded of that. Not to mention, they're dang cute.

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lilalia (not verified) | October 25, 2008 - 6:09am

Susan, what a remarkable experience it must have been to hold those babies. I send the little ones and their parents all my best.

How true your words are. We absolutely do not have the choice anymore to make decisions out of fear or greed. It is mandatory that we start thinking concretely about our children's and grandchildren's futures. No matter who gets into office this time, and I sure do hope it is Mr. Obama, there are serious far-reaching problems to face and, in all likelihood, we will be working hard at fixing them when those little dears of yours are in school and on their way to college.