Last Wednesday, when I told my 5-year-old autistic son that Barack Obama was our new president, he asked: “Is he going to fix everything?”

I know that my son wasn’t referring to the rapidly-collapsing economy or the wars or to global warming—it was probably one of his occasional non sequiturs. But on some innate level, he picked up on the optimism of this history-making election and the pervasive enthusiasm it has spawned: “Yes, we can.”

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a big believer in “Yes, we can” (most recently as an autism mom), and I’m thrilled that President-Elect Obama has managed to channel it into a national movement. My husband and I chose to believe that yes, our son could, and would, develop language and respond well to therapy when guarantees to that effect were as absent as his 2-year-old voice. While we were acutely aware of far more heart-breaking scenarios, our rationale was that in order to help him, we needed to be optimistic—for us, it would have been too painful “not” to believe.

In addition to our new president’s campaign tag line, I’m also fond of his observations on being a parent: “I’m inspired by the love people have for their children. And I’m inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better.”

In my own small way, I’d like to make the world a little bit better, too. My husband and I recently embarked on a project with long odds (what else is new?): We created, which allows you to shop at major online stores while automatically triggering charitable donations, without any extra cost to the shopper. In this economy, your extra click from to your shopping site (to buy what you were going to buy anyway!) generates new and desperately-needed revenue to non-profits reeling from Wall Street losses.

Getting back to my son’s curious question about the president-elect, I responded by telling him that I thought our new president would indeed try to fix everything, to which he responded: “On Tuesday, or on Wednesday?”

If you don’t buy anything at on Tuesday or Wednesday, that’s okay. I told him it might take a bit longer.


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