As residents of the DC metro area, it is almost incumbent upon Ed and me to teach our children how to protest. We're more arm chair protesters, as my friend Martin calls those who send checks to various causes, but rarely get out and shout. But, nonetheless, when something important happens, we at least think about rallying. And on occasion, we actually do rally. And really, we have little excuse not to attend political events because they are usually less than 15 minutes away from where we live.
As is true of most localities - the Arlington County budget is a mess. It's such a mess, that they are considering several budget cutting measures that those on the "mom boards" consider draconian. I'm not sure I would go that far, but I am sad that a nature center near our home is threatened with closure.
So a couple of weeks ago, we packed up the kids and our au pair and visited Long Branch Nature Center. Helen and Connor were happy to wear their 'tickers in support of the Center (and seriously, people, could I get a child with a leading "s" sound, please?). We walked around, we enjoyed the blacksmith demonstration, Connor and Ed wandered off for over 30 minutes leaving Helen, Kathy, and me to freeze as we walked around waiting for them. To be fair, Connor had told us at the outset he was going to walk to the edge of the forest, and I believe he nearly met his goal.
Here are the commemorative photos of Helen's first protest. She decided not to chain herself to a tree or anything radical like that, but that doesn't mean the budget folks should think taking this Center away is going to be easy. You never know when we'll have a nice day and the kids will be inspired to build a tree house on the property and refuse to come down until their demands to open the center are met. But who would plant such an idea?