I tried hard to impress the girls with the notion that the Zoo belongs to the American people. It belongs to all of us. We get in free because we’re the owners. (We don’t, apparently, own the parking lots, but that’s another story.)
Maybe one day they’ll be awed by that idea. But if you ask them today about their trip to the National Zoo, they will tell you about the hippo who played in the water, washed her face in the fountain and then, quite explosively, relieved herself in the pool to the sheer delight of every child.
So maybe it’s not as majestic as the Washington Monument or as beautiful as the impressionist paintings in the National Gallery.
But it’s a D.C. memory they’ll keep forever.
Elizabeth Trever Buchinger is proud to be an American, and happy not to be a hippo. You can connect with her at www.moremindfulfamily. wordpress.com.