Ten MOMocrats spent the last week at the DNC, attending events, meeting politicians and celebrities, writing, videoing, twittering, and watching. We experienced the highest highs and some of the lowest lows. We were conflicted when the duties of motherhood called, when a little one tumbled down the stairs, several others started school, and all of our kids missed our hugs and our presence and we missed them. We had to check our emotions many times, and other times let them flow.
We were a part of history, bearing witness to the fruit of Dr. King's dream so long ago, when some of us were children, and others weren't even born yet. Barack Obama may not have been our first choice, but we rallied around him, our party, and our nation. He likes to say that his "is an impossible story" and so, too, is the story of the MOMocrats.
I can't say what my favorite moment was. There are too many. I can't describe it adequately in words; words fail me. All I know is that I was surrounded by a group of women I adore more every second, and cannot imagine the experience without any one of them. I wished that the other MOMocrats--Stefania, Jen, Joanne, Jenn, and Christine--who planned to come but couldn't make, had been there. We carried their strength and humor with us, and tried hard to do them proud.
These are some of my favorite people and moments of the Convention. I wish you could have been there.
Illinois Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, Iraq War heroine, and triple amputee, Tammy Duckworth at the Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus. The Caucus featured a panel moderated by Yul Kwon, Survivor Cook Islands Winner, and in true API fashion, singing. It was wonderful to see so many APIs, from so many different cultures and circumstances, all in one place. Growing up in Ohio, we were the only Asian family in our town for many years. It was wonderful to see so many successful Asian-Americans together with a common goal.
Getting around town wasn't easy, so we had to resort to a bike-powered pedicab one day to get from one event to the next. MOMocrat Sheila tries to figure out the gps system to tell the driver where we're going.
Rep. Maxine Waters at the NOW EqualiTea Celebration. We had to run a gauntlet of anti-choice protestors to get in. When the organizers asked Waters if she needed help getting past them, she said, "I'm not scared of them. They need to be scared of me." That was empowering to me, since I had just told one of them to fuck off.
Hanging out with MOMocrat Jaelithe in the Blogger Lounge inside the Pepsi Center was a real treat. If I had been half as smart, poised and together as she is at 27, I'd probably be the one running for President now. Barack better count himself lucky that she is among his most ardent supporters.
My first view of inside the Convention Center, on the floor, was something like this. One giant blur of lights, people, noise, and cameras.
I saw these young people reacting to Michelle Obama's speech on Monday night, wiping away tears from her moving words. The more I find out about Michelle and the more I see her in action, the more I am convinced that she will rock the White House.
Chelsea Clinton should patent her "standing by your mom and beaming" look. She is much lovelier in person than any photo captures. You can tell how much she admires her mom, and that the admiration is mutual. We should all be blessed with a child like Chelsea.
Hillary gave a passionate speech about unity at the WomenCount Celebration. It was filled with her supporters.
MOMocrat Deb was our videographer during much of the week after her computer died. Behind her, Hillary Clinton signs autographs.
MOMocrat/Delegate Julie LH got to meet Jackie Speier at a private reception for the California Delegation that was hosted by Representative Anna Eshoo. MOMocrat Sarah and I were there to meet several members of Congress and scarf down fancy hors d'oeuvres and flaming desserts.
Governor David Paterson, fresh from his DNC speech, told the crowd at the Anna Eshoo party that he went off-script in his remarks, and now several Obama speechwriters were probably out looking for him. He joked that he needed to stay far away from the Pepsi Center. He stepped in as Governor after Eliot Spitzer resigned.
Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut came to the Anna Eshoo reception a little late. The two of them seem to be great friends, and she is shown here, greeting him. He was very friendly, and had the air of a man who owns any room he walks into. I admired him during the primary debates and was thrilled to meet him. I hope that Obama considers him for a cabinet position.
Some of the MOMocrats got all dolled up and went out on the town. They ran into our California Democratic Party Online Coordinator, Matt Lockshin. Matt was instrumental in getting us information about California events and blogger passes to attend the breakfasts.
MOMocrats Erin and Sarah were on a panel in the Big Tent on the last day of the Convention. We had a chance to hear them before we were off to Invesco.
Going in to Thursday, we were short one pass to Invesco. We had secured four from the DNC, and five from the Youth Council. I worried all week that one person would have to sit out the event, and didn't know how we would decide who that would be. Just as we were about to leave, MOMocrat Cynematic won a golden ticket from Kos of the Daily Kos. I think this moment rivaled the birth of my son and my wedding for how happy it made me.
Inside Invesco, we sat behind the big media tents. I had a direct view of Katie Couric getting her hair and make up done. It took at least 30-40 minutes. I think because of the advent of HD TV, they had to fill in every pore, one at a time.
Will.i.am's performance of "Yes We Can" was the first thing that made me cry at Invesco. It was not the last.
Anderson Cooper kept getting stopped by people wanting to take photos with him. Right after I snapped this one, my camera battery died. I guess my camera could not take that much handsomeness and quit while it was ahead. I didn't get pictures of Al Gore or Barack Obama, but it didn't matter much to me. I enjoyed just sitting and soaking it all in.
In the end, we will tell the stories of this convention to our children and grandchildren, regardless of the outcome in November. We will tell the stories of this convention on our blog, to our party and the press, to our families, to our neighbors, and to anyone who will stop and listen. We won't be silenced by those who disagree, or those who come here to scorn us.
Less than a year ago, three moms sat in a Palo Alto coffee shop pondering what we could do to have our voices heard during this election. Eleven months later, we're covering the Democratic National Convention as credentialed press, being called by the mainstream media for interviews, and being asked by candidates for Congress if they can guest post for us. We've traveled far, but have so much further to go.
Regardless of the outcome of this election, this experience changed all of us in ways we cannot measure. It has empowered us as women, as mothers, and as citizens of the planet. We remember the words of Barack Obama and they ring true to us every day: "Nowhere else but in America would [our] story even be possible."