I have to say, as much as I really, really, really can't stand some (many) kids, there is nothing more charming in this world than a well-mannered child. And the few that are out there are forcing me to change my primary adjective describing children as a whole from "sticky" to "kinda cute."
Last night, it was a scorching 90+ degrees, even as it got dark. One dad on the tour was pulling two of his kids along in a Burley, and it was pretty cramped quarters for them. Now, normally kids whine and cry and complain about the Burleys, especially when it's hot and getting late--and really, who can blame them? But as we were pulling up to Jefferson, I heard the two little kids (aged about 4 and 6) yelling "Go Daddy, go! Go Daddy, go!" as he maneuvered his way through the tight spaces and concrete barriers. They were cheering their dad on rather than complaining about being jostled around. My heart melted just a little bit.
It got even better when the little boy couldn't stop grinning at me at the end of the tour. He kept reminding me of his name and saying "Thanks for the bike!" And his two older brothers, aged about 10 and 12, were trying to take each other out on their bikes until I told them to cut it out. And they listened. Without complaint. It was amazing. So, to whoever this family was from Palo Alto, thanks for raising great kids.
There was another girl from another family (I think they were from LA), probably about 12, who was apologizing for her dad being on his phone "24 hours a day" because he kept calling and texting people at each stop. I asked her if he had a job that kept him on the phone a lot, and she said "Yes...but he's standing here in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, and he's texting someone!" Insightful kid. I told her to remember that for when she gets older.