I had a full day of fun planned with the monsters. A full day which at no point included standing in the street, watching for the President. But that's exactly where we ended up. I believe I was the only person who accidentally went to see the motorcade as it sped through the streets of our town. I say 'accidentally' because it took a rather annoying chain of events to get us there, including bowling and terrible service at an ice cream counter.
We weren't even on the same side of town as the motorcade when our ice cream mission began. But because I was in a little bit of a snit with the woman at the bowling alley concession stand, we drove somewhere else. (We'll show you! We'll eat our Drumsticks elsewhere!) We walked in, got our treats, and walked out to heavy police presence and some pretty serious crowds. That was when it dawned on me that, blinded by rage and ice cream deprivation, I had driven right into the road closures. We were stuck, so we made the best of it.
We joined the throng of people waiting with iPhones up and Instagram open.
We stood on the curb, ice cream in hand, close enough to reach out and touch the cars as they passed. I looked over to the kids. They were properly impressed. Convinced POTUS was waving back at them through the blacked-out, bulletproof windows of his Cadillac. I assured them that's exactly what he was doing. (Though, because I am currently addicted to The West Wing, I know better. He was probably in the back prepping for The Tonight Show with his press and communications people, who are assuredly not as awesome as CJ Cregg and Sam Seaborn.)
The kids had tons of questions. Why do they drive so fast? Why doesn't the President want people to see him in the car? Why are the police everywhere? They had no idea that being the president is a dangerous job. No idea that there are people who would do this man harm because of the office he holds. No idea of racial intolerance. They don't know about lobbyists, the Tea Party, Occupy or anyone in between. I honestly don't think they would care if they knew. Because they were seeing THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! He was right in front of them. For a moment, that's how I chose to see the world too. No politics, no animosity. Just history, wonder, and pride.
My kids teach me lessons daily. Some of the lessons are things like: If you open a candy bar within a 3 mile radius of your offspring, you must be prepared to share it. Other people don't care if you've had enough coffee. And "I'm exhausted" isn't a valid excuse for anything. But this one is important. This one is worth passing on: See the wonder in things. It rules.
Kids are better than the rest of us. That's a fact. Some are rotten
and bratty, sure. But adults made them that way. Even
the rotten, bratty ones are better than the rest of us. At one point we
were better too. We should try to get back to that.