Monday, September 23, 2013

At the Intersection of Constitution and Twelfth

Attendance at the National Book Festival seems almost compulsory for any kind of writer, sort of like the core curriculum, English 101 on the National Mall.

This is why, family in tow, I headed into the Nation's Capital yesterday to check out some good books and the writer's who wrote them.

We wandered through the white-tented pavilions, stopping at the Fiction & Mystery tent where Khaled Hosseini spoke to a standing room only audience.

"Maybe you'll be speaking there next year, Mom," my daughter said.

"If that ever happens, I'll save you a front row seat," I promised her.

My husand found his niche underneath the History & Biography tent where he caught a snippet of Evan Thomas.

We all stopped to ponder a white board that invited us to think about 'Books That Changed the World'. Green Eggs and Ham was on the list, as was The Great Gatsby. My son included Captain Underpants and, after a lot of measured thought, my daughter included the Bible.

The thing that probably holds true for any book festival, is that the under eleven crowd quickly loses steam. Even though I'm eleven years into parenting, my offspring's need to eat at regular intervals still catches me off guard.

We were suddenly, as these things alway seem to happen, in rubberlimbed, meltdown territory.

Child #2 informed me he couldn't take another step. We hurried off the mall in search of nutrition where we were, literally, waylaid by a parade.

It's amazing how quickly a parade can make a person forget he's just claimed he is close to dying and CAN'T EVEN MOVE HE'S SO HUNGRY!

Especially when the parade participants were dressed in costumes like these!

Fortunately, for everyone, sustenance in the form of celebratory Latin Day street food was located on the other side of Constitution Avenue.

Hunger pains and sit-in style protests against overzealous mothers who spend too long at book fairs were both successfully averted.

As we drove home, I realized we all have memories of childhood activities we did at the whim of our parents. I can't help but wonder if book fairs will be something my adult children will avoid like the plague.

Or whether, twenty years from now, they too will find tables heaped with books and surrounded by the people who wrote them, fascinating enough to make food irrelevant.



L. Diane Wolfe said...

From starving to distracted - just like a kid!

I wonder if 20 years from now there will even be book festivals with print books?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What a fun parade!
My parents always drug me off camping. No wonder I hate it now.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I always loved bookfaires, even as a kid. The parade would have been cool to see! Yum on Latin food.

Still, these are the things memories are made from. Glad you made some good memories. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Barbara Watson said...

I wonder this same thing about my kids...

Beylit said...

My mom dragged us antiquing and I still to this day adore it.

Although I must say that I would have been distracted from hunger by a parade too. Those costumes are so very fun!

Johanna Garth said...

Diane, good point. I bet there won't be.

Alex, see...I'm worried about that.

Sia, yes I'm a long time book fair lover too.

Barbara, right! I hope it's not like reverse aversion therapy.

Beylit, the costumes were amazing!

Joanne Noragon said...

That's a profound ponderable. My children's adult activities are very similar to childhood, but I also attribute that to marrying like minded people. On the other hand, they had to be attracted in the first place.

T. L. Cooper said...

What an awesome day!! National Book Festival and a colorful and interesting parade! You exposed them to something new, love it or hate it, they experienced it!

Stephen Tremp said...

Who doesn't like a good parade. As long as I don't have to march in it I'm okay with parades.

Our parents would drag us off to the bowling alley on Halloween to keep us kids from getting into trouble. We hated it, but laugh about it now.

Gwen Gardner said...

Green Eggs and Ham changed the world! I love it. I love Dr. Seuss. I wish I could have gone to the book fair.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Sounds like a fun day! I wish I could have gone to book fairs when I was younger; I would have been in heaven. But my hometown didn't even have a bookstore.

Carol Kilgore said...

That parade looks awesome. Hope you're enjoying your new home :)

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

I think it's awesome that you take your children to book fairs and I do hope they look back with fondness (and an appetite for books).

Captain Underpants completely deserves to be on the list.

Julie Flanders said...

Oh, how fun. I would love to go to this. And how awesome if next year your books are there too. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Oh, Diane (above) has a point... will be be going to visit the Kentucky Kindle Festival - or will we just log on and watch....

Glad the kids' attention was diverted - for at least a few minutes... I know the feeling and have a T-shirt I can sell you :)