July 17, 2008


He was rejuvenated. You hear that? Rejuvenated. He was juvenated before, lost it... and got juvinated again. Rejuvenated!
    -- Pootie Tang

AirForceCouple was teasing me that 1) I wildly overstated the secrecy of the event and 2) I'm a moron because I didn't recognize that they asked for the same info that I'd been asked for two months ago. But I'm not the type of person who shakes her Christmas presents; I don't analyze surprises too much. I figured it could've been anything.

The AirForceKids got invited to t-ball on the White House lawn. And, heartwarmingly, AirForceGuy came up with the idea to invite me up and include me in the event. I thought it was very touching that he even remembers my name, much less that he wanted to share a family invitation with me.

This t-ball game was more fun than I could have hoped. It was relaxed, darned cute, and quite funny; Mike and Mike were the announcers, and they said hilarious things like, "Next up to bat is Betty Sue. She loves Dora the Explorer, and her favorite food is cake!" We couldn't stop giggling.

And I spent the whole time compulsively taking photos of this man, because he just gets to me.

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Throughout the game, while I was snapping photos, I was reminded of something a friend wrote to me the last time I went to the White House:

I campaigned vehemently for GW and I love Texas and I love him and Laura, but The World has made this last couple of years feel so foreign, distraught, and the necessity of always being on the defensive or offensive has left me weary.

Living in Texas, I had such pride and hope for a future with GW and I don't mean to say that he has disappointed me, really, he hasn't. The world has. I feel frustrated and weak and that even if you're a good man (or woman) with a strong heart and a strong mind, LIFE can lead you looking stupid, immobile, reactionary, and all the while impotent. Maybe that's just growing up, but darn it, I don't think it has to be so.

That said, your picture of GW brought warmth to my heart. The same warmth that had me jumping on the couches of the Stephen F Austin Hotel during election night of 2000. That hotel hosted the Republican Party headquarters that year that I somehow snuck into, as well as two years later, my wedding reception. A lot has happened in my life in the last eight years, but I would like to thank you for reminding me of why I loved him in the first place.

This is a man who routinely gets called a liar, a criminal, and a murderer. Half the world would rejoice if he died; some people even make movies about it. He is saddled with having the blood of the entire GWOT on his hands. He is blamed for everything, can do nothing right, and daily gets equated with Hitler. And he still gets out of bed in the morning, and still smiles. One-tenth of what this man deals with would make me slit my wrists, and he can still smile.

This week of vacation made me forget my woes for a while, but as I drove home, nagging thoughts about lasik and fertility treatments started to creep in again. So instead I made the conscious decision to feel rejuvenated. At Heather's house we watched The Darjeeling Limited, and I chuckled at how simple yet profound Sister Whitman's plan is:

Alright, let's make an agreement.
A) We'll get an early start tomorrow morning and try to enjoy each others' company in this beautiful place.
B) We'll stop feeling sorry for ourselves; it's not very attractive.
C) We'll make our plans for the future.
Can we agree to that?

I'm feeling rejuvenated, and I am going to do my best to hang on to that feeling for as long as I can. And smile.

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Posted by Sarah at July 17, 2008 06:22 PM | TrackBack

Thank you so much for posting those pictures. What a wonderful, REAL, person this man is and that smile just tells it all. A love of life and others just shows through. I'm in love with his daddy, too. (He's more my age!) I could have babysat for that GW if we had just lived in Midland instead of Odessa!! I cannot explain all the hate directed at him, how it discourages me. I so glad you got to go and see this.

Posted by: Ruth H at July 17, 2008 08:04 PM

Wasn't it the most fun? I've been telling everyone since yesterday how amazing I found it that the President is completely natural with children. Not everyone has that gift. He was genuine with them, and they genuinely liked him.

I was particularly impressed with how he interacted with the young disabled girl who put the first ball on the tee. He treated her completely normally, and yet without thinking made the necessary adjustments in his own behavior to make her interactions easier. Some people seem so fake when they interact with children like that - he did not.

It spoke volumes, I think.

Posted by: airforcewife at July 17, 2008 08:22 PM

Those pics are great! I totally love our president and am so proud of him for never waivering, even under the harshest criticisms that any president has ever endured....

I'm glad you're feeling a little better.... My husband told me that the package arrived without problems. Of course I am in Texas, so I'll have to wait even longer to get to see it! My daughter has adopted it as her own. *sigh* I told them both that it was a gift!!! AHHHH!

Posted by: Allison at July 17, 2008 08:32 PM

VIVA BUSH! I love him too.

Posted by: MaryIndiana at July 17, 2008 09:12 PM

I'm happy that you had a good time and found something to smile about. Great photos by the way!

Posted by: T at July 17, 2008 10:08 PM

What great pictures...love his smile. He is one politician who doesn't sway with every poll-driven breeze, and is criticized for it. What ever happened to being proud in being steadfast.

(BTW I've got a couple of great pictures of his butt from a campaign rally back in '04...)

Posted by: Mrs. Who at July 17, 2008 10:46 PM

Sounds like a lot of fun.

The hate directed at Bush is frightening. The only thing I can think of to compare it with is the "two minute hate" sessions directed at Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984.

When Bush leaves office, the hate will remain, looking for a new target.

Did you see Pelosi's utterly classless attack on Bush today?

Posted by: david foster at July 18, 2008 12:09 AM

I have never thought about Bush that way. I like that. It is true that he always does seem to be able to smile. Even though I haven't agreed with him on every policy, I do not understand the hate that is directed toward him. I do think that he brought integrity back to the White House.

Posted by: Tressa at July 18, 2008 12:19 PM

I'll miss him.

And I think others will miss him more than they realize.

Thanks George, for everything and most impotantly for showing us how to do it the right way.

Posted by: tim at July 18, 2008 12:34 PM

I'm so glad someone else mentioned being weary of defending our president to others. My good God, while living in Chile it was like the mere fact that I was an American gave people the cue to tell me they thought my president was a crook, a liar, and a murderer. Thank God I spoke enough spanish to tell them the difference between Hitler and Bush. I may not agree with everything Bush does but I'll be damned if I allow ignorant non-Americans to trash talk my president. And, hello? Weren't they the ones with the dictator that killed his own people because of party affiliation? They can kiss my ass. And I told them as much, happily, in their own language.

Posted by: Sara at July 18, 2008 02:05 PM

One more thing, how can people say he looks evil? He is a very handsome man, who reminds me quite a bit of my grandfather in looks. And I've met him and his dad a few times. Awesomely nice people. I went to Texas A&M University and studied Economics at the Bush School of Economics. Little known fact is that Bush Sr. decided to be buried at A&M. There's already a grave site and everything behind a beautiful park they built for the poli sci and econ students. That's how Bush Jr. knew Dr. Gates. Dr. Gates was the beloved president of my university for about 5 years. He always sent very personal e-mails to the students and got up and ran with the Corps of Cadets every morning. I graduated one semester after he was named Secretary of Defense.

Posted by: Sara at July 18, 2008 02:12 PM