February 15, 2008

National Treasure

JDRF sent us an invitation to join them for a bus trip to visit Congress as part of "Government Day 2008." I am a history geek. I take my bill of rights seriously. I also am a big fan of the combo meal. So how could I resist the 1st Amendment Special: peaceably assemble with a side order of petition the government?

The weather forecast was ominous but Delaney and I played hooky from our respective responsibilities anyway. We met the bus at a local Mall and were off with a dozen other families to DC.

Kimball and Conner were going to come too. In large part we hoping to see an old friend of Kim’s Dad who works in the Capitol. But by the day of the trip Pop Pop hadn’t been able to connect with his Pal and Kimball decided to skip the trip and go to biology class.

Yes Bio - She was inspired at last years Children With Diabetes conference to return to school seeking a nursing degree. It has been a while since she was last in college and she is bringing her science classes up to date. She is doing great by working hard - she decided not to play hooky. Connor has a lead part in a school play. It was a big rehearsal day. That left Delaney and I on the bus.

A few of our group went off to see their Congressman just as we arrived. The rest of us, not being special, caught lunch before our appointed rounds. Lunch was revealing. There and through out the day it was clear just how many Americans come to exercise their right to petition the government. There were Purple Heart Veterans, Mental Health Groups, Native Americans, Vision Impaired groups with their working dogs, of course Juvenile Diabetics and assorted alphabet soup groups (Usually starting or ending with an “A.” Probably one was "AAAAAAA" - American Association of Assorted American in Alphabetic Acronym Associations.)

I got a strong impression that this was what life at “Court” has been like for centuries, from Chinese Dynasties, Romans, Kings, Parliaments, Assemblies East and West. A lot of people twisting their cap in their hands and a lot of officials trying to get work done but realizing that seeing all these people is part of their work.

If you haven’t been, The US Congress buildings are less the Halls of Power than the Maze of Passageways with lots of security people. Delaney was impressed that all the police were so nice. That’s cool. A lot of someones deserve a compliment for that, consistent good service never happens by accident.

I found it funny that the kids were all a buzz with talk that Nicholas Cage was in this or that stairway in a scene in National Treasure. Nick is apparently why DC is special.

At some point we got a call from Pop Pop’s that his friend called back and would be there after all. We could see him around 3:00 if we wanted. Delaney and I broke way from the JDRF group and found our way, with the help of the very nice capitol security people to, his office.

He was gracious and warm. Her told Delaney how her grand parents we two of seven people knocking on doors in his first campaign years ago. He spoke about his grand daughter and that helped Delaney feel comfortable enough to answer questions about her day, her pump and diabetes. Delaney gave him one of our Love Ya / Mean It walk pins. After a pleasant visit we left the Majority Leader's office and Capitol Building.

We met the rest of the group at the bus. The weather was, as expected, bad. “Wintery Mix” and the DC Rush Hour - Yahoo! It was clear the trip was going to take a lot longer than expected. I had some juice boxes hidden in case one of the kids went hypo. It was going to be a long night an all the snacks were going to disappear always have something for a low handy. The bus driver did a great job. The kids had a ball playing in the bus and they didn't much care it took a long time.

We met a lot of very nice people; other type 1 families, capitol police, congressional aides, a members of Congress, lots of folks visiting with their government, the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and a darn good bus driver.

There was a primary election that day in DC and the surrounding states. (Some polls stayed open late due to the weather.) I found it particularly wonderfully that we and many others peacefully assembled and petitioned our collective government while the future political makeup of that Government was being determined at the polls and the Police impressed a little girl with how polite they were.

Who needs Nick cage, our Constitution working is the National Treasure.

1 comment:

A Journey of a Mom said...

Awesome Bennet! Sounds like you guys had a good trip! Also please tell Kimball I am impressed with her going back to school! That is awesome!
Take care, Jamie