Last year, on my little sister’s 20th birthday, Barack Obama kicked off his 2012 reelection campaign at Sony Studios in Culver City—three blocks away from the apartment my sister and I shared.
On a whim, we sent an email, begging for the chance to buy a ticket. Wish granted. We jumped up and down and started a dance party in the living room to celebrate.
On the big day, we suddenly found ourselves front row at Obama’s event.
We sang along to Jason Mraz, filmed and photographed every second via phone, and, finally, saw the President. Our President. The one we rallied for, worked for, volunteered for. The one we threw parties for, and baked red, white, and blue cupcakes for on Election Night. The President that had us counting down the seconds till the closing of the West Coast polls, as if it were New Year’s Eve.
This was our dude.
And we were so in awe, so starstruck, that when he came by to shake our hands, I accidentally held on to him a bit too long, until he had to pull his hand out from mine. Not embarassing at all.
As our President started to move past the line, my little sister screamed out, “Mr. President, it’s my birthday!”
Barack Obama stopped, turned, put his hand on my sister’s shoulder, and with a smile and an air of sheer confidence said “Well, happy birthday to you.”
That’s about the point the little sister started frantically trying to call our mom through tears. We vowed to remember that moment forever. We had just met our hero, and it was perfect.