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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Full Suburban: A quick Seattle trip for Lucy, Kennedy and family memories

UPDATED: Sun., Dec. 5, 2021

By Julia Ditto For The Spokesman-Review

One night several months ago, our oldest daughter, Lucy, came up to Logan and me with a laptop in her hands.

“Mother, Father,” she said in a mock-formal tone, “I have prepared a PowerPoint presentation that I would like to share with you.”

This is not something that happens every day, so she had our attention right off the bat. Lucy went on to deliver a very entertaining five-minute TED Talk about why we should take her and a few of her siblings to a comedy show coming to Seattle in December by the TikTok/Instagram/YouTube/Whatever-the-Kids-Are-Using-These-Days star Trey Kennedy.

If you’re not familiar with Kennedy, he makes videos spoofing middle school-age boys, women who love Target way too much, moms dealing with the insanity of quarantine and so forth. He’s quite a celebrity among the middle-to-high school set. And I have to begrudgingly admit: He’s pretty funny.

Once Lucy finished her presentation, she left Logan and me to discuss her crazy proposition. We don’t normally do things like this, you see. We’ve got lots of things going on every day, and driving four hours each way to see a show by a YouTuber just isn’t in our usual wheelhouse.

But this is Lucy’s senior year – her final year at home with us – and we are feeling a fair amount of panic about whether we have created enough family memories, savored every last moment, yada yada yada. And besides, her PowerPoint presentation was really quite impressive.

“Should we do it?” I whispered to Logan, unable to believe the words that were coming out of my mouth.

“I think maybe we should,” he whispered back.

The show was Wednesday night, so we decided we would drive to Seattle in the morning, hang around town for a few hours, catch the show and then drive home right after, getting us back to Spokane around 2 a.m. Thursday. Not an ideal timeline, but we were determined to make this memory happen if it was the last thing we did.

The day of the show finally arrived. We packed up our four oldest kids (Kennedy’s target audience) and started the trek west.

I couldn’t help but marvel at how different the drive was at this stage in our lives as opposed to when Logan was a student at the University of Washington and we had three children younger than 5. Because most of our extended family lived in Spokane, we made the Seattle-to-Spokane (and back again) trip countless times.

Getting ready for those trips was like getting ready to go to the moon. We had to prepare for every contingency: dropped sippy cups, dumped snacks, lost pacifiers, dirty diapers, broken toys, screaming babies.

And when any or all of those things happened, it was usually left to me to contort my body over and around the front seats of the minivan so I could crawl into the back and fix whatever had gone wrong.

On this most recent trip, I didn’t have to tend to my children at all. If it weren’t for the need to pass the bag full of snacks back and forth a few times, I might not have even known they were there. What wonderful memories we were creating!

Once we arrived in Seattle, we had a few hours to kill before the show started, so we told the kids they could each pick something for the family to do together for 30 minutes.

George chose to skateboard in random locations, which none of the rest of us could really participate in besides watching 9 million attempts at jumping over a curb.

Lucy led us all down through Pike Place Market to the waterfront. Henry convinced us to ride Lime scooters. And Jane, our consummate book lover, requested that we find a bookstore.

The one we stumbled into looked like it was run by Antifa and (we learned later) specialized in anti-authoritarian, anarchist and radical titles – all words that perfectly describe the Ditto family, so we definitely didn’t feel out of place at all.

Our near miss with anarchy aside, we had a great time on our whirlwind trip to Seattle. The show was very entertaining, and the comedy was clean, which was a welcome treat. The only part of the trip that I didn’t enjoy was driving home at 2 in the morning.

Next time, I’ll ask Lucy to include something about that in her PowerPoint.

Julia Ditto shares her life with her husband, six children and a random menagerie of farm animals in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at dittojulia@gmail.com.

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