My baby is growing up. And Fast.

This evening, he sat in his highchair between us at the dinner table and ate his first bites of solid food. Rice cereal. Just about a tablespoon full. As I raised the spoon, he leaned toward the food and opened his mouth, then he ate like he had been doing so for years. He didn't grimace, didn't turn away, didn't blink. He just ate. Like there was nothing to it. What's the big deal, he probably thinks everytime we break out the videocam. It was amazing to watch him.

He is such a confident child already. His personality is solid, and comes through more and more each day. He is amazing. He knows who he is, and doesn't waver. I wish I could be as fearless and confident as he is, my four month old baby boy. There are lessons for us in each learning experience for him. I believe our children are the ones who teach us about living.

As we three ate dinner together, one happy family, the first presidential debate raged on the television in the background. I hope that for my child's sake, the public will watch these debates closely and make the only logical decision, and that is to vote for John Kerry and the Democrats come November 2nd. We're in a war that we should never have entered. We have a deficit where just four years ago we had a surpus. We have a terrible economy while too many jobs are being outsourced outside of our country. We're faced with the horrible, frightening possibility of losing our right to choose. We are governed by an administration that sacrifices our environment in order to fatten its incestuous, greedy wallet. We are governed by an administration that doesn't believe in family values for all families, whose prejudice against other religions threatens the very freedom Americans value, an administration that attempts pathetically to mask its evil, greed and malice behind God and the Flag, and turns a blind eye to the millions of hungry, struggling, overworked families while they ensure only their own are taken care of.

This is not the America my parents wanted me to grow up in. This is not the America I want my child to grow up in. What I want for my child is to experience freedom in its truest sense, to be able to love fiercely, to breathe fresh, less-polluted air, to grow up in a country that respects and appreciates the environment and understand its limits, to have every opportunity for a fulfilling career in a field he is passionate about, to feel safe and secure in this world we live in. It is time for change, to move forward before we find that we have fallen too far, far back, into a time when the very freedoms we cherish today did not exist.

I watch my child grow up, and I wish to God my country would grow up too.