If my original purpose for starting MommyBlog was to document my life with my boys – a sort-of virtual baby book, if you would – then today is one to recount in full, because I want to remember it!
Today after church, I took Kenny into downtown DC, to the Kennedy Center, to see the National Symphony Orchestra. It was one of their “Concerts for Kids” and the theme was baseball. What could be better for Kenny’s introduction to live classical music?? Kids were even encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey. We arrived an hour early for what the NSO calls “The Petting Zoo.” Scores of volunteers lined the walls of the lobby with instruments from the symphony for the kids to touch and play. Rows and rows of good granny types sat behind long tables furiously sanitizing mouthpieces and reeds as young musicians showed the curious children how to play everything from a tuba to a tympani. Kenny played the French horn, a sax, a tuba, a clarinet, a snare drum, a violin and a cello. He was enthralled that he could actually make the instruments make sounds, and even declared to the bemused bassoonist that his instrument sounded just like a “hiney zoink.” (That’s how we refer to passing gas around here.)
The concert itself was brilliant. The orchestra played variations of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” the National Anthem and a new arrangement of “Casey at the Bat” among others, but Kenny’s favorite was a premier arrangement of a concerto for Piccolo and Contra-Bassoon. It was a three minute revel of hiney zoinks and we giggled through the entire piece. Thank goodness is was meant to be comical! There was a guest appearance from a local Suzuki school and violinists from ages three to nine performed, which absolutely amazed Kenny. There were some funny spots – at one point in Casey at the Bat, during a moment of “suspenseful silence,” Kenny said quite loudly, “Is it over yet??” There were chuckles all around, but everyone there had kids so it was all in good fun.
After the concert ended, with cheers from Kenny and unfettered appreciation, I said, “Would you like to go out for dessert?” He said, “Can we find a place with cake and ice cream?” We drove around DC for a bit – I took him all over the campus of GWU, where I went to college, then we headed into the Dupont Circle area, where I lived my senior year. We ended up at one of my favorite college haunts – Kramer Books & Afterwards – a chic, arty bookstore with a gourmet cafe and dessert bar inside. Undaunted by the half hour wait for a table, we read books in the children’s section and then squeezed through the crowd of hip and fashionable late-Sunday-brunchers. It’s a place where theater types and artists and writers will command tables for hours. When I was in school, there was a $7 per person minimum to sit at a table – today it’s gone up to $12! I squinted at our handsome server and said, “We only wanted dessert… is that ok?” He looked at Kenny in his Oriole’s jersey, who was already diving into the complimentary muffins, and laughed, “Yeah, that’s ok.” We ordered a piece of double chocolate cake with ice cream and a glass of milk for Kenny and coffee for me.
While we waited for our order to come up, we hit the restrooms, which were up three flights of winding stairs above the towering bookshelves. “This is fun, Mama!” Kenny chortled on the endless climb. We did our business and headed down to our table. Kenny’s milk glass was taller than he is and he dove in. We chatted about the concert and our cake arrived. It was enormous with at least a half pint of ice cream on top. Kenny didn’t even look up as he shoved a giant spoonful into his mouth. “Mama! This is even better than the cakes we make!” he crowed. We didn’t hold back as we chomped on the decadent tower before us. About halfway into it, Kenny shouted, “Mama! I have to POOP!” Shocked glances all around from the crowed cafe, but I couldn’t stop laughing. We caught the waiter and asked for a to-go box, then trundled back up the three flights of stairs to the bathroom. Kenny sat there for an eternity, made all the more hilarious by the fact that everytime a nugget plopped, the automatic flusher went off, sending him into a fit of giggles even as he tried to finish.
We left Kramer Books and hopped through the pouring rainn back to our car and drove home, talking and laughing all the way. We even got caught in traffic and it took us over an hour to get home, but the time flew by. Casey and Cooper were happy to see us when we rolled in at dinner time, I know, and Kenny was eager to share all about his day with his beloved Daddy. When I tucked him in tonight, he asked, “Mama? How fun was your day?” I said, “Kenny, it was the best day ever. How fun was your day?” He whispered, “It was my best day ever, too” and he covered my face with kisses.
The best day ever.