I became interested in politics at a pretty young age and more deeply involved as an adult for life-or-death reasons. Which is how my 6-year-old son and I wound up at the Democratic National Convention this week, watching history be made right before our eyes.
Let me start from the beginning:
When I was 9, I stood in front of the TV screen with my little brothers. We were watching an inauguration party for kids. Our new president had been sworn in earlier that day and now was ready to celebrate, along with a large number of people all around tuhe U.S.
He was on the stage with his family. Next to him was the first daughter, who was almost my age. The First Lady looked like someone my mom would be friends with, so I watched her, too. And then, the President started playing the saxophone.
The three of them were totally relatable to me, to my family, my life. Like me, this new President was raised by a single mom. And he was musically inclined, just like my dad. This First Lady had a job like my mom, and she also didn't apologize for it. I'd seen my first glimpses of having it all.
As I grew up, I took more of an interest in politics, advocacy and community service. Right before I had my son, Jax (who's also known as Hippo) I was diagnosed with, Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Specifically, left-sided ulcerative colitis. At that time I was moving my way up the television production ladder.
With all that in mind—his fierce and active support or her campaign—I knew there was one place we had to be this summer.
My diagnosis put a halt to that. And then came my beautiful son.
That's when I had to ask myself, "What should I do with my life?"
That was in 2009. Barack Obama was in office and that First Lady from 1993 on stage with her saxophone playing husband, was the Secretary of State. I thought about her life in a fishbowl and all the sacrifices she'd made. I looked at the policies she pushed while in the Senate, and I thought about her fight for healthcare. Healthcare that I, at the time, was unable to even get because of my pre-existing condition. I thought about the way that woman moved with change and stayed fighting for others: through crisis, personal change, immense pressure and discrimination.
I thought about that woman, and I made my move: I began advocating and lobbying full time for patients suffering from chronic illnesses.
Soon it became clear that I have passed on my nerdy ways to my then 6-year-old. Jax has since developed a love for politics, history and all things, Wolf Blitzer. Jax has written letters to President Obama and Vice President Biden, and he has become pen pals with Senator Barbara Boxer. (No, really.)
Jax has gone with me to advocate for patients on Capitol hill and he watches CNN's "The Situation Room w/ Wolf Blitzer" religiously. Basically, if Wolf didn't say it, it didn't happen. Two years ago, he decided that he wanted Hillary Clinton to become President. He figured that when she became President, he would become her Vice (as he calls, VP Biden).
With all that in mind—his fierce and active support or her campaign—I knew there was one place we had to be this summer. And we're here. At the Democratic National Convention.
It's the ultimate civics lesson.
We were sitting in the presence of the First Lady, the first woman of color to live in the White House, as she endorsed the first female Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
"Here in Philadelphia, let us declare again, that we will be a free people. Free from fear and intimidation. Let us declare againthat we are a nation of interdependence, and that in America love always trumps hate. Let us declare, so that generations yet unborn can hear us. We are the United States Of America, our best days are ahead of us." -@CoryBooker #DemsInPhilly
The first night was nothing short of magical! Some of Jaxon's favorite people spoke all in one night, three of them back-to-back: N.J. Senator Cory Booker, First Lady Michelle Obama Obama, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Not gonna lie, they brought all the tears, excitement and inspiration from both me and my son.
There was so much magic surrounding our life at that moment.
We were sitting in the presence of the First Lady, the first woman of color to live in the White House, as she endorsed the first female Democratic nominee for president of the United States. And I was sharing this historical moment with my son. My one and only son. My beautiful, nerdy, Wolf Blitzer-loving, brown, American miracle boy. He will be able to live the rest of his life, knowing for certain, that no matter what, as long as you work hard and keep pushing and refuse to give up, you can do anything.
No stipulations. No glass ceilings. None of it. From this day forward, the sky is the limit!
You can follow Brook and Jax at the DNC on Twitter @momdotme where she'll be tweeting pictures, speeches and anything Jax overhears Wolf Blitzer saying.