Morning in America

My morning in America doesn't rely on Wall Street, the unemployment rate nor who occupies the seat in the Oval Office.

It's of my mom, sister and I at IHOP, playing hooky from school.

I woke up that morning with a tingle on my lips, just how my first kiss would feel a year later. That night before, the country voted on hope and I could still feel their echo, from my lips to my toes. I was drunk on hope.

I couldn't understand the magnitude of what had just happened, but I knew enough to recognize I was in the midst of history. So there I was at IHOP, debating between the French toast or the pancake with the smiley face.

My mom looked radiant. I knew her cheeks must've felt sore from smiling so much but she didn't care and neither did my sister. She was even younger than me and more oblivious about the election, but like me she felt the echo of hope and reverberated it back.

Even though I tried hard to remember every detail of the 2008 election, I still forgot most, if not all of it. I don't remember what I ended up ordering that morning, nor what I was wearing. But I remember the flashing images of people celebrating on the streets on TV. I remember my dad calling us from San Francisco, but we couldn't hear what he said since the background noise was so loud.

Later after hearing him recount the story, I can imagine my dad- a brown-skinned, self-proclaimed geek with a panza standing still in a moving crowd of drunk strangers. Phone pressed against his ear, he was letting us know back in Texas that our hope was larger than our living room.

I didn't know what those moments carried, for me it was just the same old time passing, but slightly different. It was morning in my family's America and all I wanted was to hold onto that tingle of hope that dangled on my lips.


Alyssa Fernandezelection