"But is it hard to homeschool?..." the skeptical cashier asked me at the checkout counter.
"Girl," I replied, holding up my bag of newly-purchased astronaut ice cream and gesturing to the Air & Space Museum behind me, "This IS homeschooling!"
Probably my most favorite interaction of our day, we also enjoyed sharing some of our resources with an enthusiastic saxophonist and receiving a private concert; stopping to help tie the sneaker of a young woman with a baby strapped to her chest; chatting with a group of elderly Chinese men from Toronto who were huddled over their hot coffee; offering an encouraging word to a frustrated city worker; and complimenting a bag-checker. (I considered it a personal challenge to bring a smile to Mrs. Wilson's face. She was one tough lady!)
We left Williamsport at 6:00 am - phew, that's EARLY! I love that Trey and I are such seasoned travelers - we were up and out and at the bus in plenty of time.
When we arrived in D.C. we were a bit surprised to see the lines to the Air & Space Museums (all four of them) were about a 90 minute wait! So we moved right along.
While we were initially frustrated, we soon discovered that the most interesting items to Trey were all of the outdoor sculptures! We combed the National Mall for every garden and museum we could find that contained sculpture art. As the day progressed we narrowed down his interest to modern, abstract sculptures consisting of metal and glass.
As a homeschool mom, I was thrilled to follow as Trey walked through the sculptures, explaining them to me, reading the plaques, deciding what he liked and didn't like, and why, and then moving along.
I asked Trey to take the lead, and he took me from museum to museum. He actually had a better grasp of the city than I did, moving around with a confidence and sophistication that belied his inexperience. It was amazing to watch him navigate the streets and the lights and the traffic - and then inside the museums, navigate through the exhibits and mazes of halls.
At one point, I got us completely turned around and we had to go back around and start over. Trey patiently pulled me into a corner and quietly said, "Mom, I didn't want to embarrass you, but we're going the wrong way. We need to..." Seriously, it was a surreal moment. LOVED watching him blossom while I just longed for a quiet corner and a cup of tea!
Midway through our day, we were cold and tired and I saw the top of the botanical gardens in the distance. "I think that's a greenhouse! Let's go!" Trey loved the warm greenhouses and we sat quiet on a bench, his head in my lap for a quick catnap.
My food-truck falafel wrap was outstanding, unfortunately, Trey's palate has been spoiled by the homemade pretzels from the Amish food stands, so he wasn't as impressed with his food.
Eventually, with just an hour or so remaining, the lines shortened at the Air & Space Museum and we had a chance to go in. It was fun to wander around, but so full of people! We were both very tired, and ready for the day to end.
We never did fulfill my dream of going to the White House, but we did get a chance to see it from the bus on the way out of the city.
We've decided that we'll go back to Washington D.C. again, but we'll park the car outside the city and take public transit in. There is so much more we want to see!
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)