January 20, 2009

O, long-awaited January 20! What a day you were.

In the days leading up to the Inauguration, lofty discussions about policies and political appointments gave way to logistics. The challenge: how to get into and around DC when all the bridges over the Potomac River and all of the downtown area were closed to cars.

High heels and formal gowns entered the equation when Greg announced that a friend of his had four tickets to the Biden States ball and that we and his parents were going.

In the end, Greg and I walked four miles home from Sunday's concert over the closed bridges and deserted highways. Quicker than waiting in a thousand-person line for the Metro. Yesterday, I decided not to subject Baby C to the crowds and freezing temperatures. We had an open house breakfast for Greg, his parents, and some friends who were heading downtown, then I watched history unfold on TV. Baby C obligingly napped through President (!) Obama's speech and Rev. Lowery's right-on benediction. Then, it was time to think of the ball.

A ball conjures images of Cinderella and magic. And, from start to finish, it was sort of a Cinderella experience--minus the fairy godmother. Forty minutes before the doors opened, I was covered in yogurt and chasing my naked baby down the hall before she could pee on the carpet. We somehow got her down to sleep, I squeezed into an old gown, and we called a cab to take us into DC. The taxi we called didn't show, but we found one down the street at the Halal Meat Shop parking lot. (There are advantages to living up the street from the Halal Meat Shop. Good lamb, and plentiful taxies.)

Even Cinderella's magical pumpkin coach probably couldn't have gotten through the closures that night. Military Humvees blocked road after road. We grew anxious. The Obamas were supposed to make an early appearance at our ball—we didn’t want to miss them. After an hour of painstaking navigation, we finally made our way to the Convention Center where six of the ten official balls were underway.

... and she's waking up. More later.

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