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working backwards

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Z has improved so much on self-sufficiency. A month ago he complained about the various stages of getting dressed, and now he does everything by himself and punctuates each article of clothing successfully conquered by throwing up his arms and yelling, "I did it!"

Last night a friend and I went out for Peruvian food (code for "I want to eat cebiche") and then on to the Italian Embassy to hear Jhumpa Lahiri speak about Italian *in* Italian with an Italian journalist on what was technically Italian territory. (We had intepretation headsets.) The discussion started with a tribute to Umberto Eco and then covered (in a meandering way - maybe Italian is a good language for that) the issues brought up in her New Yorker essay: learning a language as an adult; learning a "niche" language; speaking and writing another language without being forced to (like immigrants); losing one's mother tongue; thinking differently in one language as opposed to another; and the relationship between language and identity. I mourn the reality that Z will never learn Visayan and will never need to. I continue to admire my classmates in graduate school who were in the same difficult classes as I but enduring them in a foreign language. I understand the complexities of loving but never mastering another language.

On Sunday after church we took a long nap and missed our weekly library trip, but then MoBob took Z to the fish market, where they saw a lot of "crabbies." Given Z's interest in sea creatures, the new aquarium at Glen Echo Park is on our list of activities but I think we'll wait on the Baltimore aquarium as strollers are not allowed.

Saturday was taken up by the community playdate at the local school (Z's future school!) and then we paid a visit to a delightful discovery - Jones Point Park in Alexandria. Highly, highly recommend, for the two playgrounds, the easy walks, the old lighthouse, and the gorgeous rivers views, including the National Harbor complex. We took advantage of the gorgeous balmy weather to lunch in Old Town and then walk along the waterfront.

Meeting our local city council rep.

Taking a break.

Across the Potomac from National Harbor.

The lighthouse.

On the waterfront.

MB's trip to Indy was cancelled - boo for him and yay for us. We also attended the evening open house at the school and MB was as impressed as I was. The school lottery closes on March 1 and since we have a guaranteed spot at the local school it was an easy and stress-free process for us.

But we will miss our daycare center friends like Mr. Julius.
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