Today the kids and I played hooky with Andy and his parents.
We had a tour of the Pentagon where our guide, Army Staff Sgt, walked backwards to face us for almost two miles. Impressive to say the least. The poor man was begging us with his monotone voice to make a joke, slip on a banana peel or at the very least sneeze funny. But no, we were a quiet crowd and listened reverently to his stories of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson's life-long competition with each other.
So much so Jefferson purportedly paid to have a himself depicted as much more handsome than his Adams counterpart who was dutifully portrayed as a short, squat, balding man of little stature.
Who knew this went on during the Gentleman and Generals era?
The tour took through the Memorial side of the Pentagon where all the names of the departed glowed eternal behind the thickest of glass. I read a few before turning away to look out the window: Steven Jacoby, Zoe Falkenburg, Dana Falkenburg...I memorized just them while staring out the window at the generous clouds and bold blue sky. That seemed a deeper sign of respect than reading through a list of hundreds of names my mind could never hold on to.
"Where is your office again, Honey?" I asked.
He pointed toward the ceiling. "One floor up."
Right above the Memorial. Whoa. He had told me this before but being there and experiencing this was on a different level altogether.
Andy's mom and I exchanged looks. And goosebumps.
Once our tour guide excused us from his watch, we were left to purchase a few knick knacks at the Gift Store. I bought a T-shirt and a mug like the shameless tourist I am.
Next was the long walk back through metal detectors, a dank tunnel, and two full parking lots to our car. Abby had a major meltdown right before the tunnel so I hiked her on my hip and lost any regret I felt of skipping the gym today.
Once back in the car, the kids and I sucked down warm juice boxes while my in-laws and Andy decided where to eat.
The KFC sign was first and our resolve had expired so we brought our bucket of high cholestoral home to devour like sweaty angry crunchy chicken loving beasts. Their coleslaw makes me weak in the knees. Delish.
(Then my husband I got into a tiff right smack in front of his parents but we're going to skip right over this part and never look back.)
A day like today left me feeling heavy and somber instead of light and fortified. Abby must've known because before too long, she invited me to a fancy ball. Actually, ordered me to a fancy ball is more accurate.
"Put this dress on, Mommy."
"How 'bout maybe just the tiara?" I ask squishing further into the couch cushions.
"No Mommy, you must put the dress. Princess' orders."
And so, I of little nobility or rank, rendered the dress over my clothes and did as I was told.