An all-American week, including a scolding in the White House

An all-American week, including a scolding in the White House

We just completed an all-American week.  It started on Monday when we celebrated the Fourth of July in Washington DC.  We were in our nation’s capital for my sister Lisa’s wedding, where Katie and Annie Rose were flower girls alongside their cousins, Sophie and Olivia.

We took a tour of the White House, where Annie Rose was in a distinctly crabby mood.  As we walked through the State Dining Room, Annie Rose gave Katie a gratuitous shove.   A secret service agent who observed the crime came up to Annie Rose and said, “Young lady, that is a Class A Misdemeanor.”

Annie Rose, who weighs 27 lbs at age four, looked up at this 6 ft’ 4” armed hulk of a man and whipped him on the leg with her lovie, a soft pink and brown security blanket that she takes everywhere.  “You could be incarcerated for attacking a secret service agent,” he informed her.

Annie Rose held her ground and would not smile, even when he winked at her.  “Wow, she holds a grudge,” he told me.   When she refused to apologize, we determined that her White House tour was over.  Andrew took her outside while Katie, Cleo and I stayed a little longer.

Fortunately, Annie Rose pulled it together, and we had a great time on the rest of our trip.  During Lisa and Matt’s wedding, the girls enjoyed playing with their many loving relatives.  It was particularly charming to see them spend time with my completely competent 96-yr-old grandma, who flew in for the event and stayed at the party until the band sang their last song of the night.

For me, it was a very special wedding, because my family was altogether-  both my side and my husband’s side.   My relatives, who are scattered from coast to coast, traveled to be at the event.  Andrew’s family loves Lisa, and they all came to the wedding too.  It was a rare and beautiful opportunity to be with everyone I love!   Baby Cleo, still toothless at 13 months, grinned a wide gummy smile from her perch in my arms.

When we left DC, we took the Acela train with Andrew’s parents to New York.  Katie had expressed an interest in seeing the Statue of Liberty, and we had a (long) fun day at Liberty Island, where Katie practiced her Jedi moves on the grass knoll in front of the Statue.  Before we went to Liberty Island, we spent some time playing in Gramercy Park.

At first Annie Rose and Katie were disappointed because the park did not include a playground, but that did not last long.  As young children are wont to do, they used their imaginations, and pretty soon they were busy building a tiny house for the fairies that apparently live in Gramercy Park.  They collected acorn shells for fairy beds and made blankets out of leaves and rose petals.

Our final night in Manhattan was spent dining with old friends, a perfect way to end a trip.  The all-American week was not yet complete, however, without a baseball game.  Back in Chicago, Andrew and Katie joined Uncle Pete and cousin Roscoe at the White Sox game for Kids’ Day.  Although the Sox lost (boo), the kids had fun.  After the game, Katie and Roscoe got to run the bases.  Katie said, “It was like running the mile.”

All in all, a great patriotic week:  a visit to the White House, fireworks to celebrate Independence Day in DC, a visit to the iconic Statue of Liberty, and a Sunday afternoon baseball game.  Sometimes life is really good.  This was one of those times.

Next trip is in two weeks and will include a reunion with Katie’s birth family.  Big stuff!  Stay tuned . . . .

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  • Wow, what a lovely trip. It is great when both sides of the family get along so well (I know, that's how it is for me too) - the kids benefit so much from being exposed to all that family bonding. And, of course, I am convinced travel is the best education for kids! Hope the next trip is just as wonderful.

  • J,
    It was a great trip! How is your summer going? How often do you get to visit Nina?

  • In reply to CarrieGoldman:

    Hi Carrie,

    You've been getting my e-mails about summer, etc., I hope? Summer is busy (work busy) but enjoying beach time as well! We see Nina every 2-3 weeks - she usually stays with us for 3 days and 2 nights. Lately Nina and Lenny have been pushing for 3 nights, but I'll have to see what Nina's mom has to say about that - she wants as much time as possible this summer with her daughter before she goes to kindergarten, which I of course completely understand. She is starting kindergarten before she turns 5, which I found surprising - but apparently that's fine in California,


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