Here's the scoop:
Friday, Evan and I took the metro down to the city to meet up with a couple of his friends. It was, overall, a great day...for a boy. For a mom, it was a great learning experience. Here is the summary:
- Tip #1: Don't take a non-disposable water bottle to the Capitol. You can't take it in, even if it is empty (this is an actual travel tip so remember it-never have I seen so many disgruntled tourists).
- Tip #2: If you do take a non-disposable water bottle to the Capitol, throw it away before you let your kid walk into the capitol to meet friends without you, even if you think he will only be in there for 30 minutes and then be right back out. Water bottles are cheap. Therapy is expensive.
- Tip #3: Make sure your phone is charged. All the time. Just do it. Go charge it right now.
- Tip #4: When the security guard at the Capitol tells you that EVERYONE will come out the same door they came in, don't believe her. There are TUNNELS to leave the Capitol. It is possible that, while you wait and assume your kid will just come back to the last place you were together, your kid is walking to the Library of Congress invisibly, right under your feet and then taking a train to the Lincoln Memorial without any knowledge on your part. See #3 above.
- Tip #5: Remember that in Washington D.C, the most heavily guarded and paranoid city on earth, it is not a good idea to look desperate, crazy and unbalanced. Get a grip on yourself and try not to look like a terrorist BEFORE you walk up to a police officer to ask to use his phone to try and get in touch with your 15-year old son who is now on the other side of the National Mall, which looks rather small on google maps but is actually about an hour walk from end to end.
- Tip #6: Remember that even if you made that previously-mentioned water-bottle mistake, you are still a smart person and can figure it out (10 minutes of walking, a 15-minute taxi ride and a 20-minute pedi-cab adventure later we were back together, on the train and on our way home) and that if the kid is smiling and thinks it was all a big adventure, it's not so bad. But go charge your cell phone anyway.
|It looks so beautiful from this vantage point.|
|The Mighty Statue of Freedom|
|Pavement in the rain while I waited for Evan|
|People Watching Heaven|
|More People Watching as the rain started.|
|The Library of Congress. He was probably in there when I|
turned around and took this photo.
So that was Friday.
And really, can anything be more gripping than accidentally losing your kid in the Capital of the Free World? Take a deep breath and prepare for the tale of the Unlucky Banana.
You probably already know this, but I did not. Bananas are the worst kind of bad luck on a fishing boat. It's true, but I, being unlearned in the ways of the sea, unwisely packed a single, deadly Musa acuminata polyploid in Evan's lunch for his Chesapeake Bay fishing trip on Saturday. It went unnoticed in his little cooler for the first part of the day but to the brave fisherman plying the waves for edible prizes, its effects were painfully obvious. Nothing but toadfish and a couple of spotfish for the first hour and a half of the trip. For anyone. When the banana was discovered, Evan was almost thrown overboard along with it for bringing such a deadly curse upon their fair vessel, but instead, they just jettisoned the evil yellow. True to its sinister nature, it followed them, floating ominously back to the boat. The owner gunned it for a full five minutes and they finally got far enough away for the power of the fruit-that-shall-not-be-named to wane. The other passengers avoided Ev for another couple of hours until he finally caught a fish, then gradually things turned around and the expedition was a success. The bottom line: With the cursed, thick-skinned thing on the boat, 2 keepers. After nature's not-so-perfect-food was properly exorcized, 62 keepers. SIXTY-TWO!!!
I tell you, I'm convinced and you should be too. Beware the banana friends. Seriously.
As if that wasn't enough to think about, on Saturday night my garden got some special visitors. It was so fun to watch these kids I adore climbing around the veggies, squealing with delight when they found something to pick. I loved it. My own kids' interest in the garden has waned over the years, so it is fun to have some younger ones nearby for whom it is still a novelty. It is really satisfying to see this tiny little patch of land be alive in so many different ways.