I know I haven't blogged in a while, and it would probably be best to resume blogging after this extended, unintended absence by talking about how supremely insanely awesome this assignment to Tokyo is, but we interrupt that sort of gushing (the type that would earn us justifiable hatred by all DS families because it's so hard to get to somewhere like Tokyo let alone getting here without having to go to to AIP first) with...
HELLO, THIS MORNING WE HUNG OUT WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA AND AMBASSADOR (Ambassadress? Ambassatrix?) CAROLINE KENNEDY.
Caroline Kennedy? As in daughter of JFK and Jackie Caroline Kennedy? And President Obama? Both of them together? In the same room? At the same podium? And the four of us there in the same room with them?
Oh hells to the yeah.
Families of State personnel here in Tokyo were invited to a special opportunity ("Meet & Greet") this morning during President Obama's trip to Tokyo and you bet your bottom dollar we were there. Super early in the morning. So early that pretty much just this would have hauled our otherwise lazy selves out of bed that early.
We stood in line for a long time (who cares?), and then stood in the room for a long time (who cares?) and then Ambassador (Ambassadress? Ambassatrix?) Kennedy introduced President Obama!
There was general happiness and mirth and lots of smiling...
They shared the podium for a bit...
And then Ambassador/dress/trix Kennedy exited stage left and President Obama addressed the crowd...
You think I'm kidding? I'm SO not kidding. The crowd of State folks was polite... with an undertone of "I've been freaking standing on this two square millimeters of carpeting for the last FOUR HOURS and I woke up at 3 am so I could get as close to the stage as possible and if anyone tries to pull me even a quarter of a millimeter backwards or to the side I will freaking strangle them with the lanyard of my Top Secret Clearance badge and stand on their dead body in order to see better!"
The kids (supposedly all who were 16 and younger, although let me just say that more than a handful of "kids" in the special kid crowd were wayyyyyyyyy older than that) had a special, roped-off area in the room just for them, and the rumor was that the President was going to head to the kiddoes first after speaking in order to shake the kids' hands and say hello to them. And that is exactly what happened...
James, Matthew, and I, being older than 16 and having no bloodthirsty drive to hack our way to the front of the crowd by sheer, murderous force, stayed a bit behind the shake-the-President's-hand zone and watched the swarming mass of humanity desperately surging toward President Obama in hopes of having their hands shaken.
And then it happened!! President Obama reached out and grabbed Zachary's outstretched hand and shook it.
I, of course, didn't see this and didn't get a picture of it because I suck as a mother and miss all of the most important moments of Zachary's life and also because the crowd was surging like crazy and I had no vantage point at all. But that's okay. It happened and Zachary will always remember it.
It's the sort of thing where you tell yourself Yes, life sucked worse than an industrial-sized vacuum cleaner in Chengdu but then the glories of Tokyo were waiting for us and so now everything is perfect and unicorns are dancing and rainbows are singing and the world is a splendiferous place of gloriousness where the President of the United States shakes my child's hand.
So then President Obama continued down the room and we watched him greet the crowd for a while longer.
And then Zachary came over to us, all excited, saying that he's met a sitting President of the United States and that the President had shaken his hand and that he was never going to wash that hand ever ever again.
And then President Obama and James sat down to laugh and share overseas security/military inside jokes while Ambassador/dress/trix Kennedy and I went shopping for cute shoes and got pedicures.
Okay, FINE. Maybe that last part didn't happen. But the day was still awesome!!!! And if you want, you can even click on the pictures and they will be even bigger and better and prettier! So you can see my the back of my child's head with even more clarity than the smaller pictures on the blog allow.
The end. :)