Every year when the video of cherry blossoms on
the National Mall begin hitting the news I flash back
to my Junior class trip.
We were a class of 13 in a small Baptist school.
They took us to Washington D.C. in two large vans.
The driver of my van was my history teacher.
He was in his 40's, never married and quite unprepared
to handle a van full of teenage girls.
I'm afraid we caused him much angst as we popped
out at many stop signs and red lights to circle the van
before returning back to our seats.
Let me just say here,
that was not safe.
I don't recommend it to anyone.
However, to hear him sputter and holler
at us somehow we just got the biggest charge out of it.
I am aware that these are not cherry blossoms.
but they were nearby and
totally adorable in their own right.
My strongest memory of our actual time in
Washington was seeing the Jefferson Memorial with
the blossom laden trees reflecting on the water.
I remember climbing the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial
and looking up upon the large statue of this
dedicated man so vital to our past.
There he sat.
So regal and "frozen in time".
As Chelsea and I played under the cherry trees
at Longwood Gardens on Monday I scanned
these memories in my mind's eye one more time.
Don't discount the impact of taking your children
and young people to see historical sites.
While I may have seemed just like another flakey
teenage girl on that trip I was absorbing the things
I saw and heard. They had an impact.
I've never forgotten.
Mr. M. may not have been the most effective at keeping
us in the van but he struck gold as a teacher for being
willing to take us to see these sites.
To apply the things he had been teaching
us all year long.