Hope’s Day at the Capitol

TL;DR – Hope had fun, and then she didn’t. I did some stuff that may have helped, and then I had to drag the exhausted 5-year-old home. And I’m filing for Senate tomorrow. Now then, short story, long:

Hope’s day at the Capitol was shorter than planned, but not surprisingly so – she is five, after all. We arrived via wagon, she in her mermaid-tail blanket and me walking from our parking spot at the History Center. Today was my turn to be outside. Our usual tent was gone, since Track had a meeting (someone said meeting – they may have meant meet), so Sara Adams brought her tent for us. We sat for a bit to get my wind back and Hope made a friend across the sidewalk. They chalked it up for a minute and I got approached by AP asking for her information since they got pictures. If anyone sees my kid on TV, let me know, please!

After a bit, I took Hope on a tour around the outside of the building. She’s been inside before, on days when it was MUCH emptier, so it’s time she sees what’s around.

We began our march around the building with not nearly as many teachers as I was expecting (too early?). I showed her the 23rd street bridge and explained that later, when more people arrived, there would be signs, yelling and chanting, and people driving by honking in support. I silently promised myself we wouldn’t leave until she had seen it for really reals.

We continued until the flag circle, the meeting place. The water wasn’t on, but she enjoyed sitting on the bench in the middle and we read a book together. Then we carried on around the building and I tried to explain to her what we were doing there (again – we’ve had this conversation, but you know how it is when you don’t really understand and don’t really care). All she knows is that it matters to me. She doesn’t seem to retain any of the details.

 We ate a bit and then went for another walk around the building with Dub Grisham and it was much more packed – so we stopped at the bridge.

The best part of her day. It was about to get no fun, though.

We went upstairs to floor 5 to check on the commitment card table and see if there was anything they needed. They said they were good, so we went back down. About the time we were getting settled to cope with all those stairs, Gwinner calls and asks me to come back up…

Hope stayed with Irving peeps (Thanks, Cheryl Berry!) and I went in and met Gwinner at the entrance. She gave me two white boards with names of Representatives on them. My mission? To find constituents from those districts and send them to collect signatures on the commitment cards for 1086!

So, I got some help from Hope at first, but she lost interest almost immediately. Thankfully, Isaac McCabe helped me out. Then I got an idea.

Went to the stage area and asked Chancen Flick (our awesome Walkout MC) to announce what we needed. I got one constituent immediately, and a whole group within ten minutes. Hope and I led them to the table on the 5th floor. I wish I had gotten a picture of her laying flat in the middle of the marble floor on her back. She was DONE.

I checked in with Gwinner, learned we have 27 commitments to 1086, and grabbed some new white boards with more names on them to take downstairs to people waiting on them. Hope and I drank a gallon of water from the fountain and made our trek back down.

After handing off the boards, I asked Chancen for his number and gave it to Gwinner so she could text him those names as she needed them – we’ll have people walking around with signs, but also announcements coming through the loudspeakers asking for those constituents.

We needed to leave. It was earlier than I wanted to, but that’s what happens when you make your 5-year-old actually thoroughly USE all that energy that I’m regularly so jealous of.

After helping Hope and me deal with the Irving snacks (thanks to Laura Vaughn for dealing with the cooler), we gave Isaac a ride home, and went home.

I had a phone interview with CNN, so that’s neat!

And then things got weird and I ended up completely gutting Hope’s room of the mess she’s kept festering in there… At one point, I just had to stop and lay down against the giant pile of clothes. Not sure if they were clean or not. Didn’t care. My back was VERY unhappy with me.

Any way, I’m filing for State Senate District 24 tomorrow. Let’s pretend for a moment that the following wasn’t already true – there’s no going back now!

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