02/18/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why I'm Going

I'm about an hour into my trip, crammed into a very narrow seat right behind a woman who insists that her seat has to be reclined absolutely all the way, lumbering down the Jersey Turnpike from New York to Washington on a bus that I'd found on the internet. Ava and Chet are up front, I'm in the back, there were no seats together. Monday of course is a holiday but I'm pulling them out of school Tuesday so we can join the rest of the world on the Washington Mall to watch the swearing in (When I'd told a friend that I was going to watch the inauguration at the mall she said she didn't know they had TV sets at Forever 21).

I'm not big on crowds. I'm a contrarian. When everyone zigs I can't help but zag, but this party I absolutely could not miss. I had friends who were scared off by the dire predictions of far too many folks and far too few port-a-potties but, damn, knowing what we know now, would anybody not go to Woodstock because of the lack of latrines?

And my kids. Of course I'm going because of them too. I was ten months old in our tiny apartment in D.C. while my dad walked over to the March on Washington. I realize it must've been a madhouse but I have always regretted that my parents didn't carry me over there.

My lifetime on the left and as a minority hasn't prepared me for this gusher of global good will. Tuesday, on the mall, finally in sync with hundreds of thousands of others, should be quite a shock.