It’s a good thing we didn’t go anywhere. I am exhausted.
The house-guests have gone, and are probably almost home in Boston at this point, having left on the Acela at mid-day. We all looked appropriately exhausted as we waited at the train station. Unnamed Partner and I don’t spend days in a row with the younger set much anymore, with most of our nieces and nephews now well into their teens and beyond. So it seems we are a little out of practice. Not that these little friends, children of my good friend K.C., were any trouble — they are anything but. A is 12 and going into Boston Latin in the fall, and she spent a good deal of time reading various books while she was here. And E is 11 and equally as smart, and was thrilled to help with “projects” like potting plants and building a bench (both done with Unnamed Partner.) They are just about the most well-behaved and polite children I have ever known (except of course yours if you are a friend of mine with children — clearly your children are the best!).
We really gave ourselves a full agenda, too. We always play miniature golf when we get together, so that was a given. We actually spent the entire day at an amusement park and then went to have a fantastic dinner with our friend “Fed With Goats No More,” which was then followed by a rousing game of boccie ball, eventually called on account of darkness. A late night night getting home, followed by a day trip down to DC to see some sights. Having lived in DC for several years, and even playing Ultimate Frisbee on the fields next to the Reflecting Pool, we knew better than to be those tourists we all pitied back then. You know, the ones telling their exhausted children “Look, honey — the Lincoln Memorial is just over there. It’s not far!”
Heh. We did not try to hit every spot on the Mall. We did see the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, the White House, the American History Musem (complete with Julia Child’s kitchen), and the FBI Building. (E wrote a report on the building’sd architecture in the 4th grade, and wanted to see it in person.) This walking tour included, of course our narration of places we worked, places we ate, places we saw famous people. I am sure the children will always remember when we pointed out the Federal Reserve building. Or maybe not. Maybe the Willard Hotel, Freedom Plaza, the IRS building, maybe the Navy Memorial where we all touched the statue’s pea coat “for good luck” as we were all advised to do by Big Brother Tom, who was also along for the tour.
But I will mostly remember: sitting on the front porch with K.C. and catching up on our families and on life in general; playing “Apples to Apples” and being reminded that an 11-year old’s idea of what’s funny is not always the same as mine (though often it is with this guy); laughing at Fritz’s new nickname “Gerald,” which somehow came about from Fitzgerald >Fritzgerald > Gerald; watching both of the kids watching us pick Maryland crabs for dinner last night (complete with requisite “eeew”s and complaints that “it’s a lot of work for a little food”; eating “Kix” for breakfast; listening to gales of laughter as Unnamed Partner and the 2 kids potted plants for the front porch.
It’s amazing that I never went more than about 50 miles from home, but I feel like I went to another place all together.