Sunday, July 27, 2003

Dear Henry:

I am writing to you from The National Cathedral. I am sitting on a bench across from Bishops Garden. Michael is going to camp here again this summer. Do you remember when we dropped him off here last year every day for a week. I know that you had to walk a long way and it wasn't easy for you. I hope I didn't push you too hard. Michael slept over last night. He is one handsome, smart, funny and talented kid. I watched him do jumps on his roller blades yesterday and he is so good at that and anything he tries. I am sure he can accomplish anything he wants in life. I wonder if he'll be a doctor or professional surfer. Maybe both. He came down early this morning and sat with me and Joe and watched The Lion King. He has that booming voice that sounds like he is seventeen. I was worried that he'd wake up Mom and Jack but he was quiet. It was nice. He is the best big cousin you could have ever wished for. You'll be glad to know he is taking good care of Jack.

Well the reason I am here at The Cathedral is because Joe fell asleep in the car and I was looking for a good place to hang out while he snoozes (the two of us had dropped off Mom and Jack at the movies - SpyKids 3 is out). We'll go to the park when he wakes up. I have the door of the minivan open and he is right in front of me flopped over in his car seat. All of these tourists keep walking by saying how cute Joe is. I hope no-one wakes him up. He didn't nap today. We all went to the zoo this morning after Michael left. A kid from Jack's camp was having his birthday party in the Bat House. Jack didn't want to go to the party because he said that the birthday kid hit him. That made sense. We left the gift and went to explore on our own. I hope we didn't get him anything too good. We saw the pandas getting fed. It was pretty hot and miserable so we didn't stay too long.

The gargoyles are overhead. They are really ugly and funny and really cool. Did we ever check them out after camp? I am sure we did. I think most people have no idea of the wild things attached to this building. Don't always look straight ahead. Sometimes you gotta look up, right. I am so glad the Cathedral people have a good sense of humor for such a serious place. I came here with Pop Pop Teddy for Eisenhower's funeral. He had almost as many people as you.

It is nice and peaceful here. A good place to write, read or think. Last night Mommy and I went to another neat place. We went out to dinner with Helaine and Richard, and after dinner we went to go see the sculpture of Albert Einstein on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences. I think we all went there together once. You may have sat in his lap. That's a popular thing to do. You and I also went to see the The Awakening, which is another sculpture by the same guy.

It was good to see Richard and Helaine. I don't know what Jake is doing this summer. I bet he is at some kind of sports camp. I have no doubt he is going to be a great baseball player. Do you remember reading the story of another great Jewish ballplayer, Hank Greenberg. He is a hero of mine. I always told you when we were going to bed at home or the hospital how you are my greatest hero. Well, I have a couple of other heroes. I never got a chance to tell you who and why. There is Jackie Robinson, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Hannah Szenes. On another day I'll tell you about them.

Jack's camp actually ended a week ago. He spent a lot of last week in St. Michaels with Nana and Papa Sy. Joe and I picked him up in Annapolis on Thursday night. We met him and Nana and Papa Sy at an ice cream parlor right at the dock. It was a different ice cream parlor than the one where Uncle Bill gave you your first taste of ice cream. When I drove home with Joe and Jack I thought back to that time last summer when I was on Uncle Andy's crew one night when he raced his boat off of Annapolis. I had to drive to St. Michaels after the race and pick up you and Jack and drive you back to D.C. There was a huge traffic jam and we got back at 1 am or something.

Uncle Bill and Cristina left for Spain yesterday. I am sure it will be nice when we go with them some summer, but sad all the same. We have that experience whenever we go back to places where we used to go with you. Yesterday we went to the Great British Pine Mine, that store in Kensington where we've bought furniture in the past. I could not help thinking back to the last time we were there last summer with you and Jack and Joe. You guys were running around the stacks of armoires and chests and the two of you kept hiding in drawers and hutches and cabinets and I had to find you. There were a lot of laughs and giggles that day. I wondered if the people who own the shop were going to ask where you were because you always came in with us. I guess they were too busy or didn't notice or something. The reason we went there was because we are going to get rid of the armoire in the family room and get something smaller. The television in the family room broke (Mom and I were very excited, maybe me more than she) and we want to get a new one. We need to find something for a new TV to sit on and that is why were going to trade in the armoire.

Joe says a lot of words right now and has maybe even pieced together a sentence. Zhenny is his main translator. Every day I work with Joe teaching him to say "Henry." I sat him on my lap yesterday and we looked at photos of you on the computer. I pointed to Jack in the photos and said "Jack." Then I'd point to you and say "Henry." Every time I pointed to a photo of you and asked Joe to repeat "Henry" he'd say "Jack." This is going to take a while, but we have time.

Oh, you'll love this. Jack's new favorite phrase is "No Joe!"

I am back home now with Joe. He woke up and we went to Guy Mason. The bells were ringing at the Cathedral or church next door or somewhere close by like they do every Sunday at 6 pm. Whenever you and I were together outside and heard them I would count them out to you, dong, dong, dong, dong, dong, dong.

Hen, I tried to hear your voice in my head tonight. It is fading from my memory.

I need to pull out some of the videos.

I love you.


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