Travel is broadening, part of a real education. FavD has been for many months, planning a trip to Europe next summer with a young female friend fluent in French and with family in Belgium. So she needed a passport and we had been reading about the months-long wait and all the extra wartime security checks, etc.
Right after Thanksgiving we went together to the local clerk’s office, with all the stuff one needs, birth certificate and picture ID which in this case was her driver’s license, etc. But then it turned out they can’t take her learner’s permit as a “real” driver’s license, strange. I guess that’s a federal thing based on problems in other states even though here the regular license and restricted license are the same in terms of ID validity — so anyway, it took us another week, during preparation for her college finals, to go back to the same bureau that issued her learner’s permit to get a very similar picture ID that IS accepted instead.
Then we went back downtown to send off the whole package of documentation along with $75 for the feds, plus another $25 for the local office.
They told us it might be only three weeks but we didn’t believe them. Well, today her real-live first USA passport arrived and it’s a thing of beauty, truly!
I had a US passport in the 70s, dated for the bicentennial actually, which was cool because it had a special front for that year only, to mark the occasion. It was good for ten years and then I renewed it in the 80s and used it for an overseas tour of a dozen or more countries in three weeks. That passport long since lapsed and I haven’t thought much about needing a valid one again, until I saw this gorgeous thing in the mail today. Every page has Americana on it, evocative half-scale quotes and images.
For example, how about Dwight D. Eisenhower? —
“Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world, must first come to pass in the heart of America.”
What can I say? It was stirring to hold and thumb through, even though it hasn’t been anywhere yet. She is THRILLED. Mom is wistful and proud and feeling old but also connected to my own parents, whose active passports I inherited after their passing, and to future generations who will travel after I’m gone. Dunno. A cool day.
“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class — it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.”
— Anna Julia Cooper
Unschooling Europe tag