Today I discovered my righteous desire for bonsai trees during our spur of the moment, Will woke up early from an early nap, what do we do with the afternoon trip to the National Arboretum. Most of the display trees have been in bonsai state since the early 1950s.
I told Brigham about their wonder and he smiled and told me that his dad had once gone through a brief phase in which he thought Bonsai trees were pretty cool, too. Then he told me that we are not Bonsai sort of people. Maybe he isn't meticiulous, detail-oriented or dedicated to quietly snipping branches off of miniature and highly expensive trees, but he can speak for himself. I still think it would make a cool gift. A little tree and a Bonsai manual.
We were the only people in the place. The boys got to run like crazy. We pretended that the miniature trees were magical mini forests, sheltering magical dragons that would miniaturize when people came around. Andrew, in a Scooby-Doo phase, searched everywhere for "clues" pertaining to these majestic creatures. Oh how I wanted to believe, too. If you enlarge the photo you can see all the detail: rocks with real moss clinging to the sides, flowers, a stone person that comes to life as soon as your back is turned and will grant you three wishes.
The place was great for jumping.
There were enormous Japanese carp that would surface and beg for food. There is a feeding station, too, but there was no feed in it today. (Warning: if you pick your child up and pretend to throw him into the water, the fish will dart away with so much splashing that you will feel guilty for startling the hideous little things.)
If I were in an alternative music band, this would be our album cover. Don't you think? (I am referring to the photo of Andrew with the flower bush).
Very artistic. In-dEEd.
The best shot I could get of this pretty little entrance.
My dad and I talked about the passage of time (sure, what do you talk to your parents about on an ordinary afternoon?) and he remarked that it is strange to reach a point in life where you know that you are doing things for the last time; ie driving the last car you will ever buy, a warranty that will expire after you do, etc. He joked this would be the last time he ever went to the National Arboretum. (Sure, death jokes are always funny!) I include all of this because it was funny and we laughed, but someday the kids will look at these photos when all of the people pictured really are gone, including the little selves they were. Their Papa comes on most of our little ventures around DC and he and Nana are otherwise very much a central part of the kids' lives. How wonderful to be so loved by so many.
There is a fountain in the courtyard at the top of this hill and it flows down into a murky little pond at the bottom. Lots of fun for the boys to splash and play and injest bacteria. The columns were taken from the Capitol Building in 1951 and then dedicated at the Aboretum in 1990.
We had a really nice little time.