After a morning attempting to navigate barricades and checkpoints we were beginning to feel like rats in a maze, so we entered Teaism, at 400 8th St. SW (, which was the closest we could get to the swearing-in. The staff, Kim and Terry, graciously let us watch the ceremony on their Mac. By the end of the inauguration, the room was full, and tears and shouts of joy were abundant.
I was struck—in many of the speakers' comments—by the prevalence of references to traditional women's work across history being important, and women themselves being important, from Elizabeth Alexander's character "stitching a hem" to repair a broken country to Obama's own implication that everyday child rearing is on par with charging into a burning tower to rescue office workers on 911 or braving environmental disaster to help Hurricane Katrina victims. The references to laborers of all eras, races, and genders were striking.
I don't think any of us, who had come from all over the country, had expected to stand in a tea room singing the Star Spangled Banner. The kid shown in front of the above picture asked his dad loudly and unabashedly why he was crying. Dad answered that we were watching history in the making...
Now for the parade—also basically impossible to get to, but we'll do our best!

by Jacqueline Lalley
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