My kids are on Spring Break this week. If you have been reading me a while then you know normally we head to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, but for a variety of reasons this year we stayed home. One of the biggest reasons, is that we are so busy running around in our everyday life we decide to just hang around our house.
TSM(my hubby) and I asked each of the kids what fun thing did they want to do, E said “Go see George Washington’s DC.” I love that and I love her, so yesterday we headed that way. TSM ended up having to take a business call which put us behind schedule and in traffic. After sitting on the I95 for nearly 2 hours and not getting very far, we decided to bail on plan A.
Earlier in the morning I had been discussing the Marine Corps Museum with a gentleman on my FaceBook page and since we were closer to it then DC, we chose that as our plan B.
All of the kids were fascinated by the uniforms and tanks and, of course, guns, but E was completely mesmerized. She wanted to know what everything did, who everyone was, what every battle was about.
Throughout the museum there are television screens that play short films telling about certain aspects of the Corps. E requested that we stop at everyone and for me to sign(she is deaf).
On the 3rd one she said, “I am sorry mommy if your hands are tired, but could you please sign for me?”
My hands were not tired, but my interpreting drew as much attention as some of the displays. Having deaf Chinese children does not make it very easy to blend in.
We had wondered over to a picture that caught her eye. E was standing there intently looking when an elder gentleman walked up and asked her if she wanted him to tell her more about the picture. She said yes and off he went.
What I love about this encounter was that he spoke directly to her. He never looked at me. He was soft spoken and once he realized I was signing he slowed down his pace a little, but he still spoke directly to her. They had a nice chat about LST’s(Landing Ship, Tank).
E was excited to see that women could be Marines,
but disappointed that her deafness would keep her from being one. Although she was consumed with concern for those who were wounded and had died, so I do not know that she really would decide to make that kind of sacrifice, but she is 9, so who knows.
Many of you know she is from China. She had a lot of questions about the Chinese and Mao and kept asking if the Chinese were bad people. We have a lifetime of discussions from this one afternoon.
As we left she grabbed my hand and said,
“That was a pretty interesting museum.”
Me- “You’re right it was. Do you know a lot of kids your age would be bored in a place like that.”
E- “Bored. How could anyone be bored?”
TSM and I just smiled.
The kids were starving and we were on vacation, so off to a late lunch we went. We ate at a place that encourages its diners to toss the peanut shells on the ground. E protested, “no way, we can’t do that.”. She then asked me if it was OK several times and I continually said yes. The girl could not process the insanity of what was being presented as acceptable behavior and she kept her pile of peanut shells on the table.
Our other daughter, A, was in the bathroom during this exchange. When she returned our son H told she could just throw her shells on the floor. She didn’t believe him, so she asked me and when I said yes, she reluctantly pushed a shell off the table and watched it drop. The Boy(aka H) on the other hand was fling shells like they were rockets. The only thing missing for him was a sling shot.
At the restaurant the television was on Fox News Channel. The topic for discussion was arming teachers. M was watching and started making comments back to the screen. The other kids wanted to know what was going on, so we explained that some people think it would be a good idea to arm teachers and some people disagree with that.
TSM- E, what do you think about teachers having guns in school?
E- To stop the bad guy?
TSM- Yes. To try.
E- Oh, yes I think that would be a very good idea. If the bad guy has a guy then the good guys should.
We headed home to play Wii. You will be shocked, I am sure, to hear I have zero ability to play video game. I never played them as a kid(with the exception of Centipede occasionally) and now I only play if my kids ask. Mostly Wii bowling and the Cabelea’s hunting game. The kids get a bigger kick out of my inability to master the controllers than they do actually playing the game themselves.
Dinner was a hodge podge of snacks on the coffee table as we played games.
All and all, so far, not a bad sta-cation.