We spent the weekend in Washington, D.C. It is a marvelous city to wander around now that Bird and Deal are getting older. There is the right mix of outdoor
running around like a banshee wandering coupled with using inside voices. Bird is studying the civil rights movement in school so being at the Martin Luther King Memorial was all the more meaningful. Here we were on a postcard perfect day in the city, just a couple days shy of Barack Obama’s second inauguration. The air was palpably rich with hope, pride, and profound gratitude. Even the blinged out ski cap hawkers were out of earshot, and nary a tacky tourist souvenir was in sight. The words of MLK were marked in a particular shade of relevance that we could have never conjured up with any number of readings of Martin’s Big Words. Talk about a RIPE teachable moment.
This marked my first trip to the MLK memorial. I recommend you add this to your DC stop if you ever tour the city. As we walked in and wandered around Bird noted that most of the people there had brown faces. I nodded, part absently and part taken aback by awe. I told him that Martin Luther King held a special place in African American history and that since it was inauguration weekend it was especially buzzing. He shirked off my response, not with annoyance, but with an air of resolve. He told me, “No Mommy. I get that. I just think it’s sad that more white people aren’t here. They could learn from Martin Luther King and should be here too.”
And just like that, the most poignant thing I learned that day came from my own 9-year old son. Bird’s Big Words.