Tuesday, April 7, 2015

White House Egg Roll 2015

I have an unnatural love of the White House egg roll. Every year we've gone, it's been a ton of fun and has produced a lot of fun memories. Sadly, neither Ed nor I have jobs that get us into the event each year, so we're at the mercy of the ticket lottery. This year, a second cousin of mine scored six tickets. She was hoping to come out with her niece, but was unable to take the day off, which is too bad because I would've loved showing her around DC. I wasn't confident I could handle both kids having a friend, so I passed along the remaining two tickets to a friend who also loves the event (and is one of few people I know out here with only one child) and Ed made his very first appearance at the event. Helen, Connor, and I wrapped up our fourth.

There are a few things that differed this year from our traditional visit. For starters, never before has a parent encouraged Connor to jump the security fence to see how long it would take to get tackled (ahem, Ed). Connor didn't go for it, and by the end, we almost had to resort to our friend's suggestion of tossing him over. But, we were all getting a little tired and ready to go home, so we kept Connor's feet firmly planted on terra firma and didn't test security.

This was also the first year that Connor noticed and was impressed by the gun toting security forces on top of the White House. He wasn't confident that they'd actually use the guns, but I assured him that in the right circumstances, they wouldn't hesitate. I also told him that those circumstances were ridiculously rare and nobody had ever been fired on at the White House Egg Roll.

Helen also discovered a new dress-up, and she has yet to meet a dress-up she doesn't love, and this was no exception.

For the first year ever, Helen zipped across the finish line before Connor. An errant flip of his spoon sent his egg flying into Helen's lane, allowing her to sneak past him. Connor congratulated Helen and was an awesome sport about it. But then I had to tell Helen to stop gloating several minutes later because I was guessing Connor was getting tired of her continual reminders, and I didn't want to trot back across the lawn and wait in line for a rematch.

This photo was taken right after Connor's errant sideways flip. I love how happy Helen appears.
Connor claimed his own victory of sorts in the science area where he built a boat that was able to hold ALL of the bean cargo the volunteers had without flipping or sinking. He was quite proud of this accomplishment. He had made a boat that was much less seaworthy at last year's event.

Both enjoyed seeing a bat with a five foot wing span.

Ed was a total trooper. He doesn't really love crowds, and he doesn't tend to get into touristy things like this, but I guess his curiosity was piqued enough (and we had end of the day tickets, so it wasn't a huge imposition on his work schedule) that he was willing to join us. I have our first ever family photo on the lawn.

I, of course, enjoyed the trip down memory lane, reminding both kids of various funny things they'd done over the years. For example, in year 1 (2009) Helen tried to steal quite a few things from the event and Connor rolled on the ground, delighting in the lawn's softness. Just for kicks, he dropped down for a good roll this year, too, and confirmed the lawn is still exquisite. We also got waylaid in the crafting area making jump ropes and I still shiver when I think of how painful it was stringing all those pieces onto a rope. I was not sad that that particular craft was not repeated this year.

Our second trip to the event (2012) brought a fierce determination from Connor at the starting line of the egg roll, and he pretty much flipped the egg across the finish line in two smacks. Helen, on the other hand, took her time - clearly signaling that she was being forced to participate in a ridiculous task. Despite being so far behind everyone else in her heat that the other children had left the area, Helen declared herself to be second place. I still like her moxie.

Last year (2014) was marked with our mad dash to the event, not enough food, and a weakened condition by the time we got out of there. Amazingly, we all held it together and still talk about the race to the finish at the egg roll and Helen rocking the obstacle course. They both rocked it this year, too.

Another egg roll is in the books. It might be our last, or maybe we'll get lucky again before the kids age out of the event. No matter what, the kids are now old enough that they'll have their own memories, not just the stories I tell them.

Thank you, Kerri. You were so kind to have entered the lottery and we hope to share our city with you soon!


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