Whenever I see photos of the monuments in Washington, I am always reminded of the monument project you all had to do in second grade. Last weekend, when I saw the photo of two of you near the “Big Stick,” as Casey referred to the Washington Monument when she was a little girl, I was back in my time machine to 1992, 1994, and 1996. And now that we have a kindergartner in the family, the parent/child projects are beginning anew.
I thought that I would be out of that loop now that I am no longer the parent, but that was not the case this week when I was asked to help decorate a cake for cub scouts. Bryce had forgotten to mention the project until the day before it was due, but with the help of the Google Machine, we found a project he liked and was able to do on his own. His mom and dad are not going to be helicopter parents. They will assist but not take over these projects.
It’s a good thing we only had three children, because I can’t imagine what DC-monument project child #4 would have been allowed to create with Dad. As you all know, the first monument was the most involved: a carefully constructed replica of the Jefferson Memorial, built with wooden dowels and Styrofoam. The second was The Pentagon, which Dad carefully cut from scraps of wood and meticulously angled together using his engineering tools.
Two years later he announced that he did not want to do this a third time, but he conceded that he would either make “The Big Stick,” or Casey would recycle The Jefferson Memorial or the Pentagon. She chose “The Big Stick.”
If there had been a fourth child, I would have recommended The Eternal Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My design would have been a candle sitting on top of a piece of tile remaining from our bathroom renovation. Easy peasy. Done!