Friday, June 24, 2011


Summer camp, for reasons I don't completely understand, is a really big deal in DC -- emails started arriving shortly after New Years and by the time I registered Owen in late February for one of the camps he will attend this summer, I had already missed the "early bird" discount. Choosing an appropriate camp can be challenging as one needs to consider: age restrictions (Owen's under 5), the existence of aftercare (someone needs to watch him between 3 pm and 5:30 pm), the "friend factor" (Owen takes after me in terms of social reticence) and whether the camp's focus will broadened your child's horizons. We had to also factor in that we are lazy parents, unwilling to drive all over the city during rush hour and so said horizon's must be broadened within a fairly narrow geographical radius.

But we found a couple of camps (one baseball, one general) that we hoped Owen would enjoy, sent off our checks (FYI six weeks of summer fun costs the same as 13 weeks of daycare, though given one of the camps is at St. Albans whose regular school tuition is slightly less than my Alma mater (and considerably more than Allen's), we probably got off cheap), filled out health forms, attended an orientation session (we skipped the optional one) and hoped for the best.

Which we pretty much got.

Because they belatedly added a half day to the DCPS calendar, Allen picked up Owen at noon from his last day of pre-K, ate a quick lunch and then headed over to Payne Elementary (1.5 miles from our house) for Home Run Baseball Camp. Our 8 year old neighbor, Seamus, and one of Owen's teammates from T-ball, Jack, had already arrived. Owen enthusiastically joined them for warm-up calisthenics and stretching before taking the field. The idea that summer break meant he'd be spending all day playing baseball instead of going to school was pretty thrilling, and Allen literally had to drag him away (after watching him play for over an hour) that night.

Owen's been pretty exhausted each evening (eight hours of playing baseball will do that to a 4 1/2 year old), but so far, this summer thing is looking pretty good.

(The first day of baseball camp)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011



Owen has 'played' soccer for two seasons now with Sports on the Hill, but he's never been particularly into it, and it's always been a challenge to get him to participate in soccer practice. Now that Spring is turning into Summer, Owen's boredom with soccer practice has given way to the pure adrenaline rush of T-ball. Yes, our lifelong baseball fanatic finally has a team of his own to play on (technically he's been playing right field with Daddy on our softball team for a few weeks now, but that doesn't really count).

We had a few sketchy moments: I found out I was the head coach of Owen's team when we arrived for the first practice, and I didn't have the requisite popsicles for the kids. More importantly, we got our team shirts and hats and found out that we're the Yankees. Given that Owen is a die-hard Nats fan, and that he broke down in tears when he learned about the American League's DH rule, I wasn't surprised when he started to get a bit upset, but a quick explanation about the difference between the MLB Yankees and the T-Ball Yankees, along with a reminder that Joe DiMaggio played for the Yankees quickly put him back in good spirits. (In fact he handled it better than some of the parents, there were certainly a few expletives from the Red Sox fans that now have to see their kids dressed in Yankees gear each week).

Owen was pretty thrilled that his dad was the coach (though he had some questions about why I am the 'coach' of his T-ball team, but Jim Riggleman is the 'manager' of the Nationals). And his relentless practice certainly showed as he was hustling all over the field to make plays. I think we have a hit on our hands with T-ball season, and next week we'll really test his love of the game when he starts three weeks of summer baseball camp!

(click here for all the pictures)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

In honor of Owen's first day of T-ball today, here's a little baseball movie courtesy of the Washington Nationals.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Friends with Benefits

Brad and Marlo Brown are two of our best friends: We met them in grad school, moved to the DC area a year after them, and had kids within months of each other. And while we always like hanging out with Brad, Marlo, Mia & Ben, we especially like hanging out with them in the summer when we can take full advantage of their pool membership.

So on Saturday we headed up to the Browns for a little pre-pool playdate (which mostly involved Allen & Brad playing guitar) and lunch. We took the kids over to Mom mom's for nap time, picked up stuff for grilling, and then headed to the Northwest Branch Pool. Owen was the first to jump in, but as it was also a bit on the cool side, he announced he was freezing and needed a warm shower about 20 minutes later. We spent most of the night eating and networking on the playground (nothing like seeing your co-workers and colleagues outside the office and only partially dressed).

Sunday didn't start off very promising, but the clouds cleared in time for a 5 pm rendez-vous with the Browns and Stiver-Saxtons. There was an informal splash contest for the dads on the diving board while Owen looked enviously on as Luke joined in the diving fun (someone needs to work on their swimming skills....). While not everyone enjoyed the water -- Nora's disdain for bathtime apparently extends to all water activities, resulting in her largely ignoring the pool in favor of the adjacent sandbox -- everyone had a good time culminating in our closing the joint down. Hopefully that won't impact our chances of being asked back...

(to see all the pics from the weekend, click here)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

What is Past is Prologue

Mom's Retirement Party

It seems like Mom has been threatening to retire for years now, but now she has finally pulled the trigger and left the working world. Oddly enough Dad had recently rejoined the labor force as Acting Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library (working for Mom no less), so we briefly swelled the ranks of Fawcett's in the government to three, but in quick succession Dad re-retired and Mom retired, leaving me as the last Federal Fawcett standing (well not quite the last if we credit Elaine as an honorary Fawcett ;-).

On Friday afternoon we took the kids down to the Archives for Mom's retirement party. Owen and Nora were the only children their of course, and since I remember going to similar work functions as a kid and being bored beyond belief, I wasn't surprised that Nora spent most of the time running up and down the marble halls of the Archives, and Owen rolled around on the floor through the speeches when he wasn't hiding under the couch or exploring under the table. Elaine may have been a bit horrified, but they were sufficiently cute that I don't think anyone minded.

The party was lovely: the champagne and hors d'oeuvres were generously provided by the various Presidential Library foundations; the Archivist of the United States gave some kind remarks; members of Congress paid tribute to Mom in the Congressional Record; the President sent a lovely letter; and Mom gave a wonderful farewell speech. But the highlight (and most blog worthy presentation) belonged to Nancy and her photo tour of Mom's work life. I'd summarize, but it's really best to let Nancy's presentation speak for itself, so I've included the video below.

Mom has really been inspiring throughout her career, and as she retires from her position as Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries I hope that she finds joy and fulfillment in her retirement; I hope that in my career, I can live up to her wonderful example; and I hope that she find's plenty of time for babysitting.

(click here for all the pictures)

Mom's Retirement Party