The America Pumpkin grows up in will always be one that has elected an African-American president. Even as I watched the swing states click over to Obama, I couldn't quite believe it would happen. Finally, it was the polls closing in my state and the others out here on the west coast that provided the electoral college votes needed to make it real.
Pumpkin came out from her bath just as John McCain was formally conceding. She wanted "up!" so I picked her up and gave her a big hug, and thought about how different her world will be than the one I grew up in. And I thought about how the life story of the first president she will have any chance of remembering will so perfectly demonstrate some of the most important values that I want to teach her: that with hard work, talent, and a little bit of luck, anyone can achieve anything they want, no matter who his or her parents were. That we are all citizens of a wider world, and should be open to learning what that wider world can teach us. That we should always hope for the best in people and not let the cynics hold us back.
Now I am watching John McCain make the sort of concession speech that demonstrates his best aspects, urging his supporters to join with him in working with the next President.
I am watching the multiracial party in Grant Park, and am struck by how different that is from the city I went to college in more than 10 years ago.
I am so very proud of my country tonight. Tonight, we took another step closer to living up to our ideals.
And now I'm going to open a beer and enjoy the moment.