This post is dedicated to Joy, who has been patiently waiting for a new post for oh, so long.
In my list of Great DC Moments this one ranks near the top of the list.
As with all great stories, it all started with a trip to the DMV. After a long walk and a long wait and a not-too-shabby photo, we emerged from the non-descript building with my updated license and big appetites and started searching for the nearest something edible. Southwest DC, where we were, is an up-and-coming area and the food joints are not as plentiful as in some areas of the District. But it was lunchtime and the starving toddler would not be ignored and pregnant Mommy was getting slugglish. Following the path of professionals toting carryout lunches, we made our way to the nearest restaurant, a Subway. One look at the line told Mommy that neither she nor her cranky toddler would survive it. The only other visible option was the Five Guys (the DC almost-as-good version of In & Out) next door, still with a long line but not nearly as long as Subway’s and with fresh, yummy french fries, grilled cheese for the little one and a veggie sandwich for Mommy. Oh yeah, they serve burgers too.
As we stood waiting for our food two teenage boys and their dad started running back and forth from their table to the window, straining their necks to try to see something. As all others seemed to be acting normally, I paid them little mind other than the brief glance toward whatever they were looking at (I saw nothing). Quickly, however, the hubbub grew and soon people were screaming in excitement outside. Suddenly, 30 or 40 photographers, cameramen and microphone-thingy-guys were flooding backwards through the doorway of Five Guys. And then it becomes clear: President Obama, who is known in DC for his love of Five Guys, is here. He walks up to the counter and places an order (no, I do not know for what – he had a very large bag when he left) and then proceeds to wander around talking to the customers.
Soon he spots Aria and comes over saying, “And who is this pretty little girl?”
“This is Aria,” I say.
“Does Aria like to dance?” he says, munching on some peanuts. Aria was wearing a pink tutu skirt.
“Aria loves to dance,” I say. Aria stared intensely, not moving a muscle, as she always does when meeting a new person.
President Obama giggled, munched another peanut and moved on to the others standing nearby, first a guy, then a bug-eyed woman nearly coming out of her skin and saying “Will you take a picture with me!?!?” (he graciously did). I took the opportunity to place Aria on the top of the trash can and capture these images.
A short but exciting exchange for Aria and her liberal-minded mommy. President Obama left a few minutes later to more screams of excitement from the sidewalk outside, waving as he drove away.
Random thoughts on this brief run-in with the President:
– He’s taller than I thought.
– I still think it’s creepy to ask a politician to hold your baby, but it did cross my mind for a second or two…would’ve made a great picture.
– The Secret Service were remarkably low-key and nowhere near as noticeable as the press.
– I really hope there is a picture published in the paper with Aria and Obama; I’d love it for her scrapbook (let me know if you see any!)