On this occasion of my son’s (or sun’s – either works) second birthday, I wish to put to paper what I hope he learns from this upcoming adventure. I know that he won’t remember much of our adventures, but I hope it provides a strong foundation for his adventures to follow.
Van, I hope you learn that any place you lay your head with love around you can be called a home, mattresses and indoor plumbing are great – but not required, there are few smells better than burning wood in a campfire, convenience is the enemy of freedom, you don’t melt in the rain, trees are meant for climbing and puddles are meant for stomping, following your gut will rarely fail you, vitamin D is best gained from the sun, and, most of all, you can always reach up and grab our fingers – we’ll always be there when you need a hand or a shoulder or a hug or an ear.
Ready to go exploring
As our weeks in the DC area are winding down, we spent a fantastic weekend continuing our travel preparations and spending time with friends. Due to the incredible generosity of friends we will miss greatly, Alan and I were able to enjoy a date, sans little boy. This is a rare occurrence and was greatly appreciated. We decided to spend the afternoon at the National Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David-Apollo and the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition. We were both underwhelmed by the former, but the latter made up for any disappointment we had that this was how we decided to spend our valuable date time. Conjuring up my years of art history training (one “official” year and seventeen years of living with my father, each of which was seventeen times more enlightening than a course or a book) and viewing this artwork in context of the art being created elsewhere during this time period made me realize just how “out there” this artwork was for the time. What an eclectic and gorgeous collection of paintings! I’ve posted a photo of one of my favorites from the exhibition, below. This was perhaps one of the more traditional paintings, but I found the artist’s take on young Jesus juxtaposed with the rabbis to be quite extraordinary.
The Finding of the Savior in the Temple by William Hunt
After we finished a leisurely tour of the exhibition without needing to duck out to quiet a boisterous toddler (thank you again, Lauryn and Brendan), I convinced Alan to eat an early dinner with me at the National Museum of the American Indian. On my list of things to do before we leave DC was eat one of their Indian Tacos. We had a great dinner – and mental notes were made so that we can compare our meal to Indian tacos on our trip. Of course, nothing will ever compare to the Indian Taco I had with my family at the Tuba City Truck Stop Café – one of the best meals of my life – but alas, that meal cannot be replicated as I understand that the truck stop café is now closed.
After fun with friends on Friday and Saturday, we spent all of Sunday buckling down to get things ready for our impending departure. This included learning how to replace screens in seven (yes seven) windows that our lovely cat Hickory intentionally destroyed after plotting with her bird friends to ‘distract’ her and make it look like it was all an accident. It was surprisingly easy after we got the supplies, and in no time we stripped out the old screens and replaced it with fresh screens, all while Hickory paced around us menacingly. I don’t care how hot it gets before we leave Maryland, we are not opening a single window for the rest of the time that we are here! Next order of business is making screens for our van, but that will wait until another day.