Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Party at the White House

Me giving side-eye to GW
This is me and George Washington. The picture was taken yesterday, 12/11, when we visited the White House for a holiday party.

It was a lovely party. Lots of food and drink. I got to see the president make a few jokes (take the paper napkins, don't take the cloth napkins, don't break anything because only two years left on the lease), I didn't make it to the front of the rope line to shake hands or anything, and I got to have a night with my wife in DC without the kids. For the first time in about five years, we hired an overnight babysitter.

I went, well, because hello, White House! But I really went because I had the chance to meet activists both in the non-profit world and the federal government. I am a lousy activist, at least in the conventional sense. I am not an organizer of face-to-face or online campaigns. I am not a policy writer. There are many things that I am not.

I am a writer. I have, through lots of luck and hard work, carved out some access to major media and hopefully said some useful things about disability, in particular. But none of this matters without the people doing the work in the communities, often less visibly, and I was grateful for the chance to meet them. Also, it was surreal. A few years ago I was a pretty good medieval historian at a small university, mostly unknown even in my own field. Yesterday, my wife and I went to the White House. I hope you'll forgive me for taking a moment to be happy in public and to share my happiness with you.

Thank you for reading.
Thank you for pushing me, sending me stories, and telling me when I inevitably make mistakes.

And now, I'm getting back to work.

I am 2300 words into my book proposal. I hope to be able to tell you more in a few days.