My daughter and I took a road trip last week. It had been a while since we’d done anything like that. We went to Washington DC for a few reasons. First because my son Zack is doing an internship there and we haven’t seen him since May. Second because neither Ally or I had been to the capital. And third we could see Dave Matthews in concert, which has become a Harvey family summer tradition. (One that is becoming increasingly challenging as children tend to grow up and have lives of their own)
I have to say that Ally proved to be one of the lowest maintenance teenagers I know. We drove almost 1200 miles in our beloved golden boy without air conditioning. We navigated the Metro like typical rookies. We walked countless miles in heat and humidity. We visited a number of museums, monuments, and attractions without a single eye-roll or heavy sigh.
Several people have asked me my favorite thing about the trip. One highlight that I wasn’t prepared for was standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial right where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech. I waited my turn to take a picture of the chiseled granite block and look out over the mall. It was amazing to insert myself in that familiar picture and imagine the sea of people hoping, praying, and working for equality.
The other stuff…the buildings…the post card images…was cool too. But my lasting memories will be of the spontaneous stuff. Staging arguments in the car as we drove down the highway and seeing the other motorists’ reactions. Us walking around without a schedule and covered in sweat. Zack taking us to one of his favorite burger joints, Ray’s Hell Burger. The look of horror on Ally’s face as Zack and I did our hippie dance at the concert.
But the best slice of my week was this:
Overheated, Ally and I entered the sculpture garden in front of the National Archive. We made our way to a fountain and took a seat on the edge dangling our feet in the water. I don’t know how long we were there. It didn’t matter. We were together; sometimes chatting sometimes not, sometimes laughing sometimes not, sometimes reflecting sometimes not. As the water refreshed our limbs the time reconnected our hearts.
That moment was worth the trip.
A month ago I could have given you 100 reasons that I shouldn’t/couldn’t go. Thanks Krista, for helping me to see past the obstacles and believe in the value of the trip.