Photo from the whitehouse.gov
While the “Event for Autism Awareness Month,” as it’s being billed, is taking place inside the White House today, a very different event will be taking place outside on its lawn.
According to USA Today, the White House Easter Egg Roll just keeps getting bigger. This year, the president expects thirty thousand people to come through the gates. For the sake of practicality, they will be divided into five groups of six thousand guests for two hours apiece.
According to the paper, there are some big-named celebrities expected this year – from singer Colbie Caillat to Kelly Ripa, the Harlem Globetrotters and even Elmo.
God, Brooke would LOVE to see Elmo – my eight year-old might just be his biggest fan. She watches Elmo’s World with no less than religious devotion. But six thousand guests jammed into two-hour time-slots?
The chaos of the crowds? The children moving unpredictably in every direction, the noise? Holy hell, can you imagine the noise? The babies and toddlers yelling and laughing and, heaven-forbid, crying?
The confusion and frustration of Elmo being visible but not accessible to talk to and hug? My girl cannot see a character without hugging him. Nope. Sorry.
And the actual egg rolling itself, with all its moving parts and the children – OY, a lawn literally crawling with children?
My girl would be a DISASTER.
So while the president is outside the White House today, playing on the lawn with some twenty thousand children and their families, I pray to God that he takes a break to come INSIDE to talk to those of us who parent some of the more than one million children in this nation who CAN’T be there. Not because they didn’t win a lottery ticket for admission, but because somewhere along the line they were handed a ticket for an entirely different journey.
Please, Mr President. Step inside your house today and talk to us about how we can work together to ensure that every one of our children has the chance to participate – to truly, fully participate – in this American life of ours. Egg rolling and all.
Our children deserve no less.