My hope for future Americans is that they never quite understand why today is such an exciting day. I hope that history shows the clips from these past couple of months, especially the last few days, and future generations snicker and scratch their heads at the estatic faces they see.

Think about it, though: we’re living this now, but this is something we’re going to have to explain in the future. We will have to put into words how we reached this point, the manner in which most Americans woke up after an eight-near nap and the sense of disbelief that today brings. Things have changed. We’re not back yet, but for the first time in a long time, there’s the feeling of possibility. Things have an opportunity to improve.

I want people to recognize the significance of today in the same manner in which I understand the huge moments in American history that occurred before I was born: with respectful distance. I understand that things were different before those moments took place, of course, but I can’t properly grasp how things were prior.

I want future Americans to have a hard time relating to a time before an African-American was the nation’s president. I want future Americans to have the same difficulty understanding a nation that has never had a female president. A country that didn’t allow anyone in love to marry. A country that lacked the respect of the rest of the world.

My hope is that the thought that dominates that America in the future is that anything really is possible. We’re Americans. Opportunity is a given.

In a way, today is an epilogue, a prologue and a story in and of itself, all at the same time. And while we don’t know how the future (the next four, eight, twenty years) is going to alter the telling of the first two, I do know this moment.

I awoke this morning after tossing and turning for most of the night. I was too excited to sleep. When I finally got out of bed, it was still dark outside. There was dancing to U2 in my apartment, and I carefully wore red (hair), white (shirt) and blue (sweater) to mark the occasion. I picked up a copy of the Globe as I made my way into work. I’m watching coverage online and will be doing so all day long. I’m assuming that I will also spend a chunk of the day in happy tears.

I hope that, when I tell children in the future about what this was like, I see them look puzzled when I explain why this was such a significant day. I hope they get it when I tell them that they’re not going to know what it feels like to be in the presence of history in the making until they come across the person who will shape their generation and experience that in person.

But it is my wish that they never fully understand what it’s felt like to hope as much as we have to hope today.