As I looked out of the bus window. I was reminded to focus on the little things. The shape of the clouds, the trees, the little things. We would be in DC in two hours and we would see some amazing things. Thank goodness for the comfy seats, and quiet 8th graders. I was even able to take a power nap on the bus ride.
It has been over ten years since I have been in Washington, DC. As we were approaching DC. I knew I was back in the city. From the buildings, the duplex style homes, the homeless man sleeping under the viaduct. We weren’t in Middletown anymore.
Harrison was excited too and that made me smile. The boys had their assignment for the day. It was similar to a scavenger hunt. In one museum we had to take a picture of Abraham Lincoln’s black hat. At some monuments they had to interview someone and find out where they were from.
The boys were a great GPS system. And when in doubt we asked Siri or used google maps. We started our journey and I tried not to let the teacher come out of me. They boys were great, respectful and most of all patient. First stop was The Washington Monument. The boys took turns taking photos, interviewing and documenting at each site.
Next stop was the WWII Memorial. This was where I lost it. My emotions took over. I am not sure if it was the wreaths, or the sight of the veterans. I took a moment to pray and the word sacrifice stayed with me for the entire trip.
Harrison interviewed a gentlemen. And to hear him tell Harrison what this memorial meant to him was so moving. Harrison listened and asked him more questions. I was really trying not to embarrass him. But I had to snap a picture of him and the gentlemen.
When the boys told me that the next stop was The Martin Luther King Jr. Monument. I was so excited. Let’s just say my excitement to get there was halted by a plantar fasciitis flare up. Thank goodness I had my big umbrella with me. At one point I felt like Sojourner Truth walking for freedom. Jesus take the wheel. Momma needs to get to the promise land quick and sit down. Where is Dr. King? The boys were so patient and funny. They told me to take my time walking.
I heard the boys yell “There it is, there it is.” Waterworks for me again. I thought about Dr. King and his sacrifice and how the world might be different if he were alive today. Standing near that monument was a proud moment for me. Listening to people talk about what Dr. King means to them gave me hope that good people still exist and still embrace diversity. Dr. King’s speeches always motivated me and encouraged me many times throughout my life.
It was great seeing Harrison interact with other kids. He has friends. I knew that he did. It was just nice to see him interacting with his peers. I am glad that I experienced this trip with him. It was an eye-opening experience on many levels. It also gave me an idea of how to make this work for Sydney when she is in the 8th grade next year.
We enjoyed a nice lunch outside. I took in the scenery and enjoyed being a mom. I focused on the birds, sounds of the waterfall and noticed the beauty all around me. I watched as Harrison gave money to a homeless man and felt proud to be his mom.
It was time to get back to touring DC. We had plenty of time left. The boys only needed one more museum but we were able to take in two before heading back to the buses. Harrison was asking me if I was going to be okay with the walking. I told him I would make it. But if I was slowing him down or embarrassing him, I would call his teacher and have him take over the group. The boys all said no in unison.
We toured The National Museum of American History. That was amazing. I cried while sitting in the exhibit of the American flag. In that moment I was proud to be black and proud to be an american. Not that I wasn’t proud before. It was just a different feeling that came over me. I appreciate history more now that I am older.
Our last stop would be McDonalds and The National Air and Space Museum. I think that they enjoyed this museum the most. The highlight may have been when someone from the second floor was trying to take a selfie and dropped their phone. Which almost hit me in the head. But I held on to it until she made it downstairs. The case had her personal info and the phone didn’t crack, in case you were wondering.
On our walk back to the buses, I met the nicest police officer. We talked and he was telling me about the Memorial Riders procession that was happening. I thanked him for his sacrifice. He said I know you are a Christian please keep me in your prayers. I love how God works. That was my cue to say a quick prayer with him before we kept walking. And that is exactly what I did on the street corner in DC.
As we rode home on the bus. I admit I was exhausted. But I had so much that I wanted to capture right away. So I took out my journal and started writing. I left DC different. I’m sure that is probably hard for you to understand. It’s hard to explain in detail right now. I guess you will have to wait for the blog.
Tomorrow’s blog: Pretend You’re On Survivor