I hadn’t had my coffee yet and was checking emails on my phone while feeding Pape breakfast. A friend had written about a big exam and signed off with ‘Four more years!’. I thought she meant she was starting some sort of massive four-year doctorate program.

I then went to check my Facebook, at which point the light went on. Of course, my feed is bleeding all shades of red, white and blue today as people celebrate and mourn in varying degrees.

“Four more years.”
“Four more years!”
“Ugh. Four more years.”
“Four more years!!!”

If President Obama were here having coffee with me today, here’s what I would say…

“Sorry for the mess. Pape has decided he needs to feed himself, so it’s kind of a disaster area by the table. Sit here – SQUEAAK! Oh, watch out for Sophie la Giraffe. I’ll take that… By the way, thanks for taking the time to swing by this morning. I’m sure your schedule is CRAZY these days and Dakar is pretty far out of the way.

About these next four years… I wanted to tell you a story. When my husband was doing his studies in France, he got to the final year’s big final exams – 13 of them. On one exam, he scored .25 of a point below what was needed to pass. Some people would have considered that ‘practically passing’ and thought that he should have been allowed to graduate because he did well enough overall. Others would have said he ‘failed’ and that’s the end of the discussion. It’s all in your perspective, I guess.

You know what my husband’s perspective was? “God has given me another chance to do the best I can.” I was amazed. (And yeah, I swooned a little when he said it.) So for the next year, he worked even harder – and that says a lot, considering he was the only non-native French speaker in a five-year degree program, so he had been working incredibly hard already.

One year later, he took the exams again and not only passed them all, but graduated with high honors.

You’ve been given four more years, another chance to do the best you can for our country. Aim for high honors, Mr President.

More coffee?”

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