For the past few days, my darling son and I have been on vacation mere blocks from the White House. Alex has begun showing a real interest in politics, so I thought this year we would celebrate July 4th in our nation’s capitol.
Here are some of the highlights…
I book a great hotel, but Expedia doesn’t bother to tell me it is home to a lively, popular gay bar downstairs. Alex’s civic lesson expands as a result. Diversity, tolerance, and male corsets are discussed.
We walk. A lot. We walk to the Smithsonian, where I end up crying in the exhibit about Thomas Jefferson’s 600 slaves. The part about how he forced boys aged 10 to 16 to toil in his nail factory dawn to dusk just breaks my heart. The complexities and hypocrisies of humankind buckle me. I apologize to my son for embarrassing him and he assures me, joking to lift my mood, I’ve only embarrassed myself. Then he hugs me. I realize I’m raising a future great man.
Spending time with oldest friend, Leslie, who was my best friend in middle school and is now an important administrator at a very impressive university. She is also a wife and mom. Nonetheless, we regress sufficiently to shock my son with our silliness, especially after we have mint juleps. She makes him a very cool homemade D.C. passport with a list of things top do and it includes having his mom show him her sixth grade yearbook
Shoe shopping in Georgetown.
Toured mount Vernon. Cried again because of the slaves who toiled there but also because Martha loved George so much she could not bear to sleep in their longtime bedroom without him after he died. So grateful for being born in this great country, so proud of us for correcting our crimes.
Ate hot dogs and watched fireworks on the mall with millions of others. Amazing.
Sweat. A lot.
We have loved our time here and can’t wait to come back soon. Heading home in the morning.