Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the day before Barack Obama is sworn into Presidential office. I spent the day with the kids, took the two little ones to lunch at the fake '50s diner, then bought them shoes at Payless. How is that for an epic moment in United States history? I would've read them a nice story about MLK, but they were bickering too much and I decided to put on my headphones instead. I feel this was American parenting at its finest.

Starbucks had a sign: "JOIN US FOR THE INAUGURATION -- 7 to 11AM TOMORROW!" I had a flash to John Kennedy wearing a top hat at his inauguration. I wish they made all the Presidents wear that, because top hats are awesome. I wish they had to wear them ALL THE TIME, like the hat meant, "HEY BITCHES, SEE THIS TALL ASS CHAPEAU? MEANS I AM IN CHARGE! OH YES!" Of course, it's a bit of a target, too.

It was around my birthday time when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead. It seemed so strange, that someone could and would do that to anyone. I could not figure what he had done to make someone so angry with him. My impressions of him were mainly of him marching, endlessly marching and waving, always with so many people around him. I didn't understand at all why anyone had to struggle for civil rights, because I didn't understand at all about discrimination or that apparently some people were more equal than others. Kids just don't think that way. People are people to children, until they are taught otherwise.

The only thing I remember my parents saying about MLK is that he fooled around with women that were not his wife, and they thought he was a hypocrite for it. My first thought when he died was that some jealous husband shot him. What a thing to tell a little kid, huh? When I think of these things, I am always reminded how children can pick up on things, and how they can stick. One wonders if he had lived, if my parents would have changed their minds about him, a man of peace and hope and courage, despite his human failings. It is hard to say.

Part of me is afraid to watch the inauguration tomorrow. Anyone who grew up in the '60s knows what I mean. Maybe I will just watch the news clips when it is done, and talk to my kids about why it was an important day,and be glad it is over. I may even break out my own top hat, because OH YES I HAVE ONE, and be all in charge over the dog or something.