Got home early last night - around midnight - early for these campaign days of putting in 12- and 16-hour days at headquarters. I work hard as a volunteer ... the local activists say I live at HQs. Not true ... but not far off....
My 19-year-old daughter was still awake when I walked in the door. She hugged me and we sat in the living room and talked and talked ... even teens need their mommies once in a while.
She understands my need to help in the political process. I got involved in politics in 1999 when she was 12 years old - the first BUSH campaign. She's lived with this for a long time. She sees my intensity. She learned American history, government, and politics from me - her home school teacher.
After 9/11 it became more intense. I felt an urgency, a need to do what I could to put the right leaders in position to protect my family and my country.
My daughter shares my love of America and, while not the political junkie I am, she understands my need to be involved. She sees my interest and love of politics ... but she also sees when I'm tired, beat down, feeling the attacks....
We talked a long while about all sorts of things ... and then she put "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," a movie I had not seen, in the DVD player. She fast-forwarded to one particular scene.
It brought tears to my eyes ... because it proved without a doubt that she got it. She understood what I was doing. She understood what I was going through.
She was showing me a scene between Frodo and Sam where Frodo feels he can't go on ... and Sam is explaining how and why they must go on. I hugged my daughter to me and told her it was exactly what I needed to see ... and somehow my sweet girl had known that.
Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for.