We came up over the rise as the highway curved and my breath caught in my throat. The Washington Monument. The Jefferson Memorial. So beautiful and serene in the morning mist.
My uncle was driving me into Washington DC for the day, and I suddenly realized that I have not been here since I was a child. I quickly flashed through my memory of our family photo albums and I recalled that photo of me and my cousins and aunties standing on the steps of the National Zoo after seeing the pandas. My brother was in a stroller, so I must have been nine, at most ten. “I don’t think I’ve been here since that last family reunion in 19-when-was-it?” Could it be? My uncle and I flipped through our collective memories of family reunions past. We recalled another family reunion for my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, but that was in suburban Maryland, so we never went into the city.
But Washington always seems so present; like the cousin you never see but whose mom constantly keeps you up-to-date.
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