Actually, everything went incredibly well - friendly people, decent weather, not too
much crying! The boys really did great on the bus trip and received many compliments. Gregory had a little trouble falling asleep. Thankfully, not many people needed the bus's bathroom, so I was able to wear him in the mei tai while walking in place.
We weren't really able to participate in much. I had no idea
how many people go to this march. Incredible! We arrived fairly early and headed down to the rally site with others from our church. After being in the same spot for almost an hour, we decided we'd better get the boys to a wide-open space where they could run around and have some snacks. Ha!! We were so trapped! After about ten minutes (and only because a lady had a panic attack and we were following on her heels), we found some sort of grating that nobody wanted to stand on and quickly headed there to get our bearings and BREATHE! We then realized that the only way we could get out was to venture over the fence onto the freshly seeded grass - which we promptly did and then backed ourselves out a couple blocks for some breathing room.
We attempted to actually be in the march and even got in line a couple times, but there were so many people that it was completely bottlenecked. We were really worried about how easily one of the kids could slip away and get lost in all those people. We decided to wait for the absolute end of the march, but by that time, we would have had only 45 minutes to go the 1/2 mile to the Capitol and back before the bus picked us up.
I have to say, I was discouraged at this point - that we had come all this way and didn't really do
anything - and resolved not to add this to our list of yearly activities. However, back at the bus, everyone was so excited to see us and the kids and expressed how glad they were that we had made the trip with them. Then, we learned that our parish priest never participates in the march itself, but,instead, walks to the Capitol on a different course and watches the sea of marchers as they finish the march.
That's when I understood. We didn't have to participate in any of the organized
events of March for Life to be participants
. Our mere presence
- our full-of life children, our precious baby, all of us together - and the sacrifices
we made to be there - waking up even earlier than normal, entertaining kids on a bus for 10 hours, braving the 20 degree temperatures for 5 hours - these were our events, our contribution to the beauty of life.
We only took 4 pictures, so I'll leave you with all of them! And then I'm writing some notes to myself, so I can refer back to this post for next year's march!
We don't know this man, but he posed perfectly!
Sooo many people!
We are looking pretty haggard here. This is after two attempts to actually 'march" and we finally decided to just go around everybody and get closer to where the bus would pick us up.
Hangin' with Aunt Billie!
Notes to self for March for Life 2011:
*Bring cookies or some other treat for everyone on the bus (to be shared after the March.)
*Don't bring many books to read to the kids. The videos are too loud.
*Get snowsuits out of storage in Breezewood, so we can get the kids ready before D.C.
*Get jammies out of storage before leaving D.C., so we can get the kids ready for bed before Breezewood.
*Schedule: Meet Billie and eat upon arrival in D.C. (on the Mall on the side of Constitution closest to Capitol building - near Air and Space museum) Say goodbyes and walk up to Capitol via Air and Space and Native American museums route. Return to Air and Space for bus pick-up.
*Make homemade signs
*Reference 2010 packing list (need to make pdf for this)