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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Blossoming

Cherry Blossom 2013

We spent the end of last week in DC, seeing the sights and prolonging the time we got to spend with Dr. SmartyPants. We were hoping that the cherry blossoms would cooperate with our visit, but they didn't. We found one lone blossoming tree on the National Mall that had opened - a precursor to the spectacle that surrounds the tidal basin every spring.

It's so interesting being back in the city after nearly 3 years. When we first moved up there, the boys were 7 and 9 and I can remember so vividly the first time I took them on the Metro without the Smarty. We only rode two stops, as a test run, and I squeezed their little baby fingers so hard, terrified I would inadvertently leave one of them behind. After two years of depending on the Metro for the majority of our transportation needs, I became more and more comfortable, but I'm pretty sure I still held their hands pretty tightly.

Fast forward to last weekend and they've become young men - 11 and 13 - who don't need their Mama quite so much. They carry their own Smart Cards in the back pockets of their skinny jeans. They walk ahead of me, two or three paces, completely confident of where they are going and how to get there. Derek turns to me and says, "We need to head toward Vienna, Mom. Do you think we should get off at Clarendon, or Virginia Square?"

"Virginia Square."

"Got it."

We step off the train, heading to eat at an old favorite barbeque place, and they sprint ahead, through the toll gate and up the escalator as fast as they can - racing to be the first one to the top. Dr. SmartyPants and I follow, laughing at how much things have changed since we left. We catch up to them at the crosswalk and wait for the light to change, talking about how the Cozi is still on the same street corner, next to the 7-11 and that Starbucks has added outdoor seating, but everything else looks exactly like we remember it.

The light changes and we all step out into the crosswalk. We're staggered - boy, parent, boy, parent. As we cross Fairfax, I feel hands creep into mine - slowly - one on each side and I smile. I look over and see that we're all holding hands as we cross the street - just like we used to. I squeeze - they squeeze back.

Three squeezes...three back...

We step onto the sidewalk on the other side and my hands are released as the sidewalk narrows and the boys run ahead. The Smarty and I walk closer together and hold hands with each other as we watch them.

As we watch them.