There are three things that are exceptional about Washington, D.C.
No, it's not the White House. It's not the Smithsonian. It's not the Memorials honoring Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington.
It's not the Capital Building, or the Supreme Court, or the majestic Kennedy Center.
The three things that draw my husband Bob and me to our nation's capital time and again are Melissa, Miles, and Jessica.
Melissa, our college girl, is in her sophomore year at American University. Jessica, our oldest, lives across the Potomoc River in Virginia with her husband Brian and their son Miles.... our precious, precocious, two-year old grandson who "visits" us several times a week thanks to the modern miracle of Facetime.
"Papa Bob and Mommy Weesa, will you come to my house?" asked Miles during one of those "visits" as he took time out from splashing in the tub to acknowledge that his grandparents' faces had suddenly appeared on his mommy's iPhone.
"We're going to see you next weekend," said Papa Bob. "Would you like that?"
"Yes!" came his enthusiastic response, while he attempted to pour water onto his mommy's head.
It had only been two weeks since our last visit, but Bob and I just couldn't say no to Jessica's invitation to make the trip yet again. Brian would be going out of town and she could really use the help with Miles.
Our plans were set. We would leave Friday after work. Break up the three-hour drive with a dinner stop. Spend the night in Jessica's comfy guest room, and connect with Melissa on Saturday.
I counted the days . Oh, who am I kidding. I counted the hours.
Monday passed without incident. Same for Tuesday. Wednesday began as a seemingly normal day...until I noticed something sinister. A feeling deep in my throat. A tickle. An irritation. Surely it was just allergies. Surely it would go away in a day's time.
As Thursday dawned, I found it a bit harder to ignore that "irritation", as I turned to cough drops to help ease the pain when I swallowed. By Thursday evening, the "irritation" had made its way to my nose, which decided to close up shop altogether, obstructing my ability to breathe.
I could not ignore it any longer. The "irritation" had developed into a full blown cold.
My caring, compassionate husband responded by ensuring I had piping hot chicken soup for dinner, and insisting on sleeping on the sofa to avoid his germ-infested wife.
"Maybe we should cancel the trip to Washington," he suggested.
"No!" I replied with stubborn determination. "I'll take cold medicine. I'll feel better. It will be ok."
He looked at me with skepticism, and retreated to the living room couch.
I woke up on Friday coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose. Bob again, strongly suggested I reconsider our trip.
Once again I insisted I'd be fine. My desire to see my girls and the boy far outweighed a silly little cold. I'd pump myself with Tylenol, and all would be well.
Or so I thought.
I showered and dressed, ate breakfast, and started to walk out the door for work. However, the pounding in my head could not be ignored. Neither could the sudden onset of the chills.
The thermometer confirmed my suspicions. What started as an "irritation" had now become a full blown fever.
I couldn't risk getting my family sick. Plus my "oh so caring" hubby wasn't looking forward to spending three hours in the car with the wife he now called "Typhoid Mary".
Begrudgingly, I called Jessica and Melissa and explained the situation, then retreated to my bed, which became my home for the next 24 hours. It turned out that both Jessica and Miles were also struggling with a cold, so the cancellation was for the best.
However Melissa expressed her disappointment. Although I'm not sure if she was upset at not getting to see mom and dad, or not getting the package full of groceries and other goodies we had planned to bring her way.
On Saturday I felt well enough to venture out with Bob to the post office to mail Melissa her package before retreating back to bed, where I watched six hours of Harry Potter movies.
By Sunday morning I no longer reached for the tissue box every five minutes. I had regained the ability to breathe, and the coughing had returned to a mere "tickle" in my throat. What's more, the thermometer once again read a normal 98.6.
Great. Just in time to go back to work.
Now I'll count the days until Thanksgiving when I get to see my girls and the boy again. Oh, who am I kidding. I'll be counting the hours....and minutes....and seconds.
|Pictured during a recent trip to Washington D.C., (from l to r) Melissa, Jessica, Me, Bob, |
and the handsome dude in the stroller, Miles!