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Meredith Lopez Headshot

President Juban Princeling

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Since I am the type of dork who writes fan letters, the day after the Inauguration I wrote a letter to the new President and First Lady. I wrote it on behalf of my son, who, at not yet four months old, isn't quite ready to take up his mother's mantle of dorkdom and write his own letter. I told them the story of how I stood in line for two hours with my then almost-one-month-old baby in a sling across my shoulders to vote for Barack Obama, and how I wept tears of joy as he (the baby, not the president) lay across my lap when CNN called the election for Obama.

I repeated, in my letter, the line I uttered to my son at that moment, a line destined for Family History and Repeated Storytelling: "This means, Son, that you really can grow up to be anything you want to be -- even president." I then went on to explain to the Obamas that my son is also mixed heritage, like our new president: my baby is half-Jewish and half-Cuban, or Juban as they say in Miami. (I have since learned that, outside of towns with high concentrations of both Jews and Cubans, not many people realize that Juban is, in fact, a word and not something I made up, like my Ex-Pat friend who calls her half-Irish-American, half-French Canadian daughter McFrog.) I concluded the letter with the explanation that I know the Obamas are "deeply committed to children and to families," and that's why I included several photos of The Juban Princeling, including one of him watching the Inaugural speech from his bouncy seat. Yes, a little butt-kissing never hurts.

I know that the chances of Barack and Michelle -- I'm sure if they met me, they'd let me call them that -- actually reading my letter are slim to none. However, as a happily delusional optimist who dreams not of fortune and fame but of just enough of the latter to score a gig on Dancing With the Stars, I like to think that my letter, and the photos of my highly adorable Juban Princeling, will move some low-level staffer to pass them on to a higher-up, and that person will pass them on to her own boss, and so on up. And then a few weeks from now I'll get, not a form letter with a stamped Presidential signature, but an invitation to have Passover at the White House, with myself leading the seder and little Sasha Obama (aka the Future Mrs. Juban Princeling) asking The Four Questions.

This invitation will, of course, be carefully preserved in our household so that during his own bid for the Presidency of the United States of America, the Juban Princeling will be able to use it as the basis of his famous "Born to Be Your President" speech at the 2048 DNC. He will, of course, repeatedly mention the story of how his mother stood in line for sixteen and a half hours with him in my bare arms, in ten feet of snow, uphill both ways, to cast a vote for the first Black President in our great nation's history. With tears in his eyes he'll recite The Line ("This means, Son," and so forth) and his opponent will be so moved she'll drop out of the race and a spontaneous election will break out right there at the convention and my son will become the first Juban President of the United States.

He'll ask me and his father to move into the White House with him, where, 40 years after my first White House Passover, I'll again lead the seder, this time with my granddaughter, Juban Princess Obama-Lopez asking The Four Questions.

But most likely we won't get an invitation. We'll get a form letter with a stamped Presidential signature, and that's fine. It's still a memento for my son to keep as he grows up, a reminder that his mommy loves him enough to be the type of dork who writes fan letters for him.