Sunday, January 18, 2009

This particular moment in time (Washington DC)

When Barack Obama won the election, Katy and I called up our peeps, David and Marnie and asked breathlessly, "Can we stay at your pad with you?" We were excited and decided a trip to DC to show our boy the capital and to allow him access to permanent bragging rights: I was at BObama's inauguration was something kind of cool to give to a child who would be too young to remember this historic event.

At that time, I wrote all of our legislators emails and snail mail requests for tickets to the swearing in ceremony. We had no expectations. We planning to go hang around on the national mall with the 2 to 4 million people that might show up. We gave ourselves permission as a family to be flexible and if we flew all the way to DC only to watch to swearing in from a bar or some one's living room, that would be fine; since back in November, the weather was any one's guess.

Then about a month ago, the Honorable C. Dodd told us we won a lottery and would have tickets to the biggest show in town. That announcement changed everything. Security is tight: no backpacks, no strollers, no carriers, no coolers, no thermoses... to us it seemed- no baby.

He's not so much a baby anymore and asking him to "stand around" potentially in the cold, in the rain, to be held when he wants to get down, to get down and walk when we might be having a back spasm, it seemed cruel.

Once the decision to leave him behind was made, I have to admit to an immediate burst of excitement. WHAT? An adult, long weekend away, just the two of us? But as the dates grew closer, we were feeling torn. He's in good hands, but not our hands. And he was kind of the drive behind the planning of this trip, but now he is not here...

Yesterday, the plane landed, we retrieved our bag, and stepped outside. Compared to the 1 to 9 degree temps we'd been experiencing at home this week, it was a balmy 29 to 33. We hopped on a bus which took us to a train (the metro), then connected to another train. (All the navigation by a generous, David, who met us per bus at the airport.) Then we walked the 5 or 8 blocks to their house. On the walk from the metro, I was relieved and convinced. It is colder at home, but there's not a lot of "walking around to navigate life" at home. Maybe the walking is not the issue as much as the chill in the air, but the 40-ish minute commute confirmed and erased all doubt in our minds, at this particular moment in time, at this particular age, JB has no business being with us on this particular trip...

As my sister has taught us to tell our kids, excusing everything from juice to soda, coffee to 1/2 and 1/2, and beer to whiskey, "This is an adult beverage". In terms of "carting him around" I kind of wanted to do it: Like an iron-man decathalon without proper training. But I've taken the "Yes we can" mantra and turned it on his head: Yes we can (be smart enough to not be ridiculous). Yes we can (leave well enough alone).

Yesterday, after lunch, we made a plan for long-john hunting and dinner. Then we played a little wii mario cart, then KT and I took a nap. We took an under-the-covers, drool-on-the-pillow, Huh-where-am-I? When-you-wake-up kind of nap. And man that felt good... I can't even remember when that happened last.

And now, this morning, even though I woke up at the time JB would have cried out for some attention, I think I'm going back to bed. Yeah that's right. This might be less of a "fight-the-crowd-and-the-elements" type of a trip than a "rest up and regain your strength" type of trip. I'm glad that boy is in good hands and I feel grateful for grandparents who say to you, "you should go and leave him here with us."

Thanks, Nana and Papa (who I know are up without the option of returning to bed at this moment in time) We'll bring you back whatever nifty souvenirs we can get our hands on...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic opportunity, I'm watching for you on T.V.! Enjoy and fill us in on all the exciting events! MTW