Friday, September 24, 2010

A nod to my kiddos...

This is my first trip to Washington, D.C. I have always wanted to be here. Always dreamed about the things to see, do and experience in this our nation's Capitol.

But I have to tell you that tonight, I am so tired from the exhausting search for access to all those things I wanted to see, do and experience; so exhausted from pushing my adorable boys in their wheelchairs round and round the monuments, the metro stations, the museums looking for the elevators that I'm short of patriotic emotions and full of a bit of indignation that this is probably the best they can do. And I'm fairly certain someone somewhere is patting themselves on the back that "everything" is accessible.

But we DID come on a mission. Wade was here to be part of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy -- as such we took the children to Capitol Hill to speak to senators about research monies for CP. We met with the health care advisers for Senator John McCain and Senator John Kyl for our home state of Arizona. Apparently, the AZ senators were too busy for us. But we have more clout in our home state of Mississippi, Senator Roger Wicker took time to meet with us in person. (It might have had something to do with the fact that I babysat his children when I was in high school! ha)

We visited the House of Representatives and the Senate. We observed one representative erroneously describe Cystic Fibrosis...he actually described CP instead. Our timing could not have enforced our presence on the Hill any better! We need to come more often -- we need to educate anyone who will listen. Kids with Cerebral Palsy deserve a voice here.

My kids were tired today. Educating people is hard work. Dad was in meetings so it was just us. The temperatures reached close to 100 degrees and it was humid. But my four knew I wanted to see the monuments before the trip is over. They knew I wanted to get some photos. They knew I had always wanted to stand in the chamber surrounding President Lincoln. So they pushed through the exhaustion, heat and difficulty in finding sidewalks that worked and hunting for elevators.

The closest metro station to this amazing monument didn't even get us close...bless Claire's heart, she pushed Benjamin and I pushed Mason (holding an exhausted Cate in his lap...) and we walked and walked and walked! There WAS an elevator to take us to the monument! Praise the Lord!

The Rotunda in the Capitol building...probably the "easiest" part of our visit as Mississippi's Senator Roger Wicker arranged a private tour for was amazing but there were parts we couldn't see because of no wheelchair access.

From the American History Museum...I had to snap a photo because I wish we had this sweet bus getting my boys in wheelchairs around! (Seriously, Fisher Price gets my nod for all time favorite toy! We still have the trip's bus like this!)

Exhausted, sweaty and with the sun in their eyes...but we made it to the reflecting pool at the base of the Lincoln Memorial....

From the Lincoln Memorial -- a view worth the effort (at least once).

My littlest at the Lincoln Memorial...just looking cute (and a bit exhausted!)

Looking up from the Visitor Center in the Capitol Building...I just loved the view!
Tonight, we are sighing a deep sigh. We came, we saw, we educated as many as would listen. And I don't mind telling you that going home will be....well, it'll be a blessing!


Claire's Calico Corner said...

Wow...those pictures are breath-taking! They capture the monuments even better than seeing them in person! (of course, it might help that I'm sitting in an air-conditioned room!) What a great trip-but I agree, home will be a blessing! I love you,

Kristin said...

Beautiful pics. Cant wait to get there one day myself.