Here and gone

My son Matt and I returned from a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. Saturday, and I spent Sunday recouping, doing laundry and repacking. I leave this morning for a two-day trip to Camp Ripley to embed with the Iowa National Guard.

The D.C. trip was incredible, and sharing the experience with about 60 kids made it even more so. There were moments of hilarity, awe, contemplation and chaos.

Some of the kids were more aware of the history and significance of certain places than others, which made things kind of interesting. We saw so many wonderful things, witnessed the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery, were given the opportunity to attend a performance of the National Orchestra at the Kennedy Arts Center, stared with wonder at the White House and Capitol, and all walked out of the Holocaust Museum with a lump in our throat.

The kids, grades 8 through some newly graduated seniors, performed in a few interesting places, including an impromptu singing of the National Anthem in front of the White House. And when you go anywhere with two bus loads of choir kids, the singing never stops.

Their performances got warm receptions wherever they went, with several people walking up to me to ask, "Where are these kids from?"

"Murray County Central in Slayton, Minnesota," I would reply.

"They are wonderful," the person would say.

Total proud Mommy moments, let me tell you.

Matthew toted his electric guitar all the way to D.C. just so he could play one song, "Don’t Stop Believing," with the Rebel Voices, a small break-out choir. I took the greatest picture of him tuning his guitar at the fountain in Senate Park with the Capitol in the background.

I was lucky enough to be able to witness my son and his peers sing and see things, and I tried to take a ton of pictures of other kids doing the same. If you are an MCC choir parent and looking for some photos of your kid, give me a call and I’ll see what I have. I also made videos of various performances and songs.

Now, however, I need to jump in my car and head out to Sioux City, Iowa, where I will be picked up by helicopter and flown to Camp Ripley. I’m looking forward to the experience, and luckily the blister on my foot has faded from one trip before I take on another.

Off I go!