There are 34 equally lovely contestants backstage. The emcee is about to call the names of the 20 girls who made the NBA dance team my daughter is trying out for. She made it all the way to the final leg of this journey. We could not be prouder, even though my heart is visibly thumping out of my chest.
The U.S. is once again in the midst of an inward turn. Unlike the disconnection following the First World War, America's growing national deficit in the capacity and will to engage other people not like them is not the innocent confidence of a rising power but the false bravado leading one to its fall.
We've been having moments of nostalgia as we sort through our possessions and outbursts of intense of laughter as we discover hidden gems from our years together and from raising our two kids. The best moment came from a little blue ribbon blazed in gold with the words "18th Place." I don't even remotely recall how many competitors there were in that race, but I sure hope it was more than 18!