My husband, daughter and I just returned from a 3 day whirlwind trip to the Washington, DC area to tour colleges.
Here are a few things I have learned as a result of those days:
1) Never, never, never travel through NYC and try to cross the George Washington bridge at rush hour. Those drivers are crazy! Add in an ambulance with sirens blaring trying to get through the gridlock and I nearly had a heart attack on the spot. I specifically recall thinking, “So this is where it all ends” as my life passed before my eyes.
I marveled as my husband remained calm, cool, and collected as he skillfully navigated the madness. He is definitely someone you want to have around when a crisis hits.
Me, not so much.
2). Washington, DC is a beautiful city.
I was surprised by how safe we felt walking around the city at night. We were surrounded by families, student groups, fitness enthusiasts, tourists, and guided tours.
3). It is the perfect city for our daughter, who is passionate about political science and history.
The last time we were there in 2004, she was only 6 years old. She was very excited to see the monument of her favorite president, Abraham Lincoln. She hurried to the area where the Gettysburg Address is carved into the wall. She took a seat on the floor and there she sat, cross-legged, and began to read. When she was done, her dad sat down to join her and they had a good, long talk about Lincoln.
I absolutely love this photo.
Fast forward ten years and here they are in the same place…
Our next stop was to visit the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. My dad was a veteran in the Korean War (Air Force). The statues looked particularly ghostly at night.
This is my dear friend N.
Twenty-five years ago, we worked together as temps at a computer company for the summer. (Which also happened to be the same place that I met my husband!). We bonded so much that she was a bridesmaid in my wedding and we have kept in touch all these years. It had been twelve years since we had last seen each other, but we literally picked up right where we left off. We talked non-stop, commiserated over our role as parents, laughed a lot and reminisced.
It was a joy to have N. meet my daughter, who told me she felt like she was “meeting a celebrity”, as she has heard so much about N over the years.
5). I never want to take another college tour again.
We visited 4 colleges in two days.
Who is George Mason you ask?
I had no idea either.
I felt better when our tour guide called him “the forgotten founding father.”
Turn out that he was one of the signers of the Constitution. He pushed for the Bill Of Rights, which George Washington didn’t care for, so they had a major falling out. In fact, this statue of George Mason faces away from DC, to illustrate the animosity that Mason felt for Washington.
After taking all the tours, Julia eliminated two and will apply to two.
I already feel weepy thinking about the moment when we will drop her off at college and drive away.
6). I loved the family time we had. It was a gift.
Time is moving so fast, like water running through my fingers. I am trying to enjoy the moments and concentrate on what is truly important.
Right after I snapped this photo of my daughter, these lines from a famous children’s book (one that I read often to both my kids) came to mind:
I’ll love you
I’ll like you
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.