Our Trip to the Democratic National Convention- Part II

Because this is personal. #dnc2012

Things are different now. As a Mom with Lupus, needing a wheelchair for long walks, the kids and I are automatically treated differently where ever we go. So as we went into the Time Warner Cable Arena to hear Thursday’s speakers, I wasn’t surprised to find us in the ‘wheelchair’ section. That means you are behind a curtain and in a balcony where all the chairs are taken out and wheelchairs pull on in. We got to put a chair next to my chair so my nine-year old could sit next to me, but my seven-year old needed to stay on my lap. Due to the weather and the change from Bank of America Stadium, we were lucky to get in at all…so I wasn’t going to complain and demand another chair.

But this meant a 2nd grader on my lap for nine hours.

As soon as we got settled in section 213 the kids immediately got excited. Congressman Barney Frank was at the podium and the crowd was fired up. My daughter, in particular, cheered with enthusiasm every time the crowd did…while my son was a bit more reserved. Soaking it all in.

As the hours went on…and on…and on…the kids acted as kids do. They listened, they cheered, they ignored and played on their iPads, they cheered again, they watched videos on the jumbotron, ate concession food, and then started to slump a bit and wiggle as time ticked on and on.

Mom, what does he mean about that dogs don’t hunt? Don’t dogs hunt all the time?

Mom, I’m glad they are thanking the soldiers but I can’t hold the sign up anymore my arms are tired.

My family says thank you @ #dnc2012

And then, over the course of dozens of speakers and many hours, something happened.

It was that something I had hoped might happen. The reason I brought them.

Mom, why do they keep talking about women getting as much money as men? Do women really not get as much money as men?

Why would anyone say climate change is a hoax? That’s just dumb. I’m sorry, I know that’s a bad word…but that really is dumb, Mom.

Mom, why can’t that lady walk right? I know the pledge and I can say it too- (puts hand over her heart) but why are you crying? What’s wrong with that lady on stage Mom?

Who was that last lady speaking? She was really awesome! She’s the leader of the whole Democratic National Convention? I really like her!

…and this went on. And I answered as best I could while holding one child and trying to keep another from kicking the chair in front of him.

Think about that for a second. My nine-years old son who was fidgeting like a typical boy, was listening intently enough to catch the President calling out climate change deniers. My daughter was INSPIRED by an accomplished female politician at the age of SEVEN.

My children did what I had hoped they would do, even if they found a lot of it “boring” and even if it was exhausting for all of us…they had that spark lit.

It happened. I saw it happen.

And then, to top it all off, once the President took the stage they were swept up in the excitement of it all. They forget how tired they were. They forget that just moments before they were complaining and ready to go home. They listened to every word. They waved their flags with pride. They leaned over and craned their necks to see him better at the podium. They jumped up and down as the confetti fell and cheered for their country, their own beliefs, and the President of the United States.

Hello Mr President!!! #dnc2012

The convention gave our family moments we will never forget.

It took a lot out of me to get us across the country to Charlotte in order to be there while the President accepted the nomination. Something we could have watched easily on tv from home.

I get to start treatment just after we land back in Los Angeles, the kids will be back in school, turning in their reports about their trip and telling their classes about everything that happened. But my hope is they won’t soon forget that they were part of history. That they were there. And that their Mom was healthy enough to take them, even if she needed some help.

The President and this administration has done so much for my family with their legislation and their work, when the opportunity to travel to Charlotte crossed our path- how could I say no?

I got to share my family’s story with the world so they could experience exactly what the president talked about on Thursday night – hope, and yes, change. Change that comes from you and I blogging our lives be it about living with chronic illnesses to single parenthood to just the everyday monotony of being Moms.

Politics is personal.

Take your personal story- even if you think it doesn’t matter- and tell the world. It matters. If my family can travel to Charlotte just so I can talk to you about the Democrat’s platform, just so I can tell you what it means to support President Obama, just so I can explain a bit better why ObamaCare is vital to my health…then you can talk about your day, your life, your struggles as an American.

Politics is personal and in 2012 it is vital to making sure we re-elect President Obama.

As my kids will now tell you…it may be a bit boring, but the confetti at the end is worth it.

Let’s see some more confetti come November 6th.


  1. This is so beautiful and hopeful, it makes me cry. We have lost so much and we are re-fighting issues that I though were resolved. But this reminds me how far we’ve come. Forward!!!!!!

  2. Erin I am so glad I was recommended your blog/twitter account by a fellow blogger – I really think you are all kinds of awesome – I followed the first election from afar with absolutely rapt personal and political interest, but I guess not being American does put a slight dampener on the election process for me 😉

    Hope you manage to rest after all these excitements and that your body responds well to the next lot of treatments. From one lupus warrior to another, I salute you 🙂

  3. Geekytaitai says:

    I feel the same as @Ashley above. I have been so excited for you since I learned that you would be able to attend the DNC this year.

    When I heard that the venue was changed, I was fretting all day about it until I read your tweets.

    You are a remarkable woman, Erin, and blessed with strength and courage — and let’s not forget, your incredibly astute and intelligent children as well as a loving, devoted husband. Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us.

  4. All thanks to Obama for America for making sure we were taken care of. So many traveled to see that speech… so many. I’m not sure how we got in and others did not. But I am thankful.

  5. Wow. The memories and education and history and EVERYTHING packed into this experience is astounding. Hugs to you, Erin.


  1. […] Of all the coverage about the Democratic National Convention, I particularly love Erin Kotecki Vest’s recap of her children witnessing history. […]

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