Here we are. Firmly ensconced within that tight belt of congested freeway that runs around the nation's capitol.
We're slowly making our adjustments. New routes to the grocery story. Searching for parking near Dupont Circle (note to self...it doesn't exist). And making new friends.
That process, like many of the others in our new life, has a distinctly Washingtonian flare.
On the second day of school, Child #2 announced he had a new best friend.
"That's great!" I said.
"Yep, sure is. We traded for it," he told me.
"What do you mean?"
"So Mom, it's like this. He told me he'd be my best friend, if I'd promise to be a Republican."
"And you agreed?"
"Yep. Democrats are bad. They attack people. Sometimes they bite."
I could have pointed out that he'd spent a lifetime in Portland, where people recycle EVERYTHING, vote to the left of liberal and go door-to-door with good cause clipboards. I could have mentioned that, in the rare moments I stop to give politics more than a glancing thought, I'm pretty liberal. Instead, I said, "I think both parties attack, but I haven't heard of any actual bitings," and left it that.
The next day, on the way home from school, Child #2 announced, "Jack says I'm his eighth best friend now."
"What about that backroom deal you guys struck?"
He looked at me uncomprehendingly. "It was on the playground, Mom, but I guess I was the eighth person to agree so I'm pretty far down the list."
"Maybe you should branch out. Expand your basis of support," I suggested.
And the next day he did.
First life lessons from the beltway: Don't make backroom friendship deals. And a wide base of friendly support will always be your best asset.