It's been fascinating on this trip watching how my children meet other children.

The 8-year-old always takes the lead, usually by zeroing in on the child in the playground who appears closest to her age — the age check being the most important bit of data at this point.

"Hi, my name is K. and I'm 8. How old are you?" Apparently, names are less important, since there's a good chance she's not going to remember the name anyway (I usually ask her), but the age … ah, that's key. Maybe it has do with what she thinks they'll have in common, or maybe helps her decide how to bring brother into the game.

Brother, our 4-year-old, then gets himself introduced. If Sister doesn't do it for him, he'll make sure he quickly announces himself: "I'm P. and I'm 4." Again with the age.

The kids are playing extraordinarily well together, enjoying their own version of "Wipeout" in Seattle, and sharing merry-go-round time at this park, Falls Park, where this pictured dam creates said falls.