Then it was revealed, that the people with children in the line were approached by campaign volunteers and ushered in to a "child area." I literally hit myself in the head and exclaimed, "why didn't I assume this from this man, this presidential candidate, this thoughtful human!" Everyone laughed. And I felt so heartened and simultanously kicked myself for not showing up.
I let it go. I had no way of knowing. Many Western societies ignore their children or make it difficult for them to be present in our grown-up intellectual lives. Then, I read this article. It seems that Obama wants all of us to be heard. Of all the letters sent from Solomon Schechter Day School, only Obama replied.
The list of recipients was impressive: Yankee third basemen Alex Rodriguez; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz; Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John McCain.
But, it wasn't just any schmalty reply. He replied, thoughtfully, respectfully and with attention to age-appropriate communication.
Obama's three-page letter to Aron described Flat Stanley's visit with him and his staff in Washington, D.C. It chronicled their busy day together, which included coffee with constituents, a Senate committee meeting and a trip to the gym. It also had historical facts about the U.S. Capitol, details of Obama's job and a confession from Obama.And, once again, I got a little teary-eyed. Because, it is hard to find a person who approaches even the smallest things with intense thought and focus.
"Sometimes I get a little nervous before talking in front of a crowd, but Flat Stanley helped me practice the speech," Obama wrote. "He made me recite it in front of him and then even gave me some advice so the speech would go smoothly. Flat Stanley is really a great coach."