Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Mom, I have fum at da Brachiosaurus."

I realize that this post might not be as late as some of my others, but I was already in bed, and got up to post. So that has to count for something.

Have you ever had one of those days, that was just so perfect, it was almost surreal?
 Today was one of those days, and I cannot stop thinking about it.

"Mom, I have fum at da Brachiosaurus." This is what my son said to me in the car moments before he completely passed out.

The Brachiosauras is, to my son anyway,  the Indianapolis Children's Museum. In case you haven't been there in a while, they created a new entrance and there is a giant brachiosaurus peeking in the window. It is pretty amazing.

One of the greatest joys of being a parent is watching your child discover and fall in love with something that you yourself love.
Both Everette and I grew up going to the children's museum; our feelings toward the place are pretty mutual. And in 25+ years not a tremendous amount has changed. Of course there are new exhibits, but there are many that are the same.  I remember climbing up the spiraling ramp to the highest level to play with the locks, and getting lost looking at all the miniature houses and villages.

I remember the train.

I remember the water clock.

The Children's Museum is magical. It is a giant building filled with wonderful things, that invite you to touch and experience.  There are no ropes keeping you away from the glass, instead there are portals inviting you to crawl through and stand inside the exhibit.

You don't have to keep your hands to yourself or use your inside voices.  You can explore, and imagine, and build,

and dig, and learn, and wonder.

I will admit when we first came in, the new entrance was so different, I was sad. I was grieving a lost chance to share something with Jonathan, I remember so fondly.
But thankfully, the entrance was only a facade, and once inside the layout had not changed.
We began at the dinosaurs...
and moved to the trains, where we could have stayed for the rest of the day.

In fact, leaving the trains was the only moment, Everette and I wondered, if we were really up for this adventure. But we carried on.
We then climbed to the top level to play in the water,
 and the trains were a distant memory... but not forgotten.
 Quite honestly, I am not sure who had more fun.

and then the carousel...

It was at the carousel I had an epiphany.  We were scrounging around our wallets trying to find an acceptable form of currency to purchase our carousel tokens. At first, it looked like I would only be watching, as we were having difficulty finding what we needed. But we figured it out. Once we all had tokens we moved to the line, I read (for the first time) about the history and restoration of the carousel.
Our turn came quickly, and as I suspected, once we boarded the carousel, Jonathan (a.k.a Indiana Jones)

got a little uneasy. He was hesitant to sit on the horse.

Everette strapped him in anyway and stood close, while Jonathan clung tightly to his shirt.

I hopped up on the lion next to him.
The carousel started to spin and the calliope started to play and I thought about the history of  this beautiful ride. And I began to see the magic of the carousel. I thought about the millions of children, small and grown who had climbed aboard these horses and pretended to fly.
I am not sure I can explain what I felt as watched My son ride his first carousel and quickly overcome his fears and fall in love as he looked up at the twinkling stars. I can only tell you there was a lump in my throat and a few tears stung my eyes.

And then, as quickly as it came, the music stopped and the carousel slowed, it it was over.
We headed downstairs for lunch, and finished the afternoon with Big Bird and Elmo at the planetarium.
(We took this picture waiting for the show to start. I think it's hilarious!!!! And very telling of our deliriously happy day!)
Perfect for a tired two-year old.

Jonathan, I had fun at the Brachiosaurus too.

Please notice the cookie face to complete the day....
Everette and Jonathan thank you for sharing such a magical day with me!


Annie said...

So we've never been to the Children's Museum, and now I really want to take the kids!

Megan said...

Oh Annie,
You have to go....
With the size of your family (probably not now, because I think Will gets in free) you could get a year membership for just a little more than it cost for one trip, which means you could go for a couple hours multiple times a year (it's a lot to do in one day with small children). You also get to ride the carousel for free if you are a member. There is also a AAA discount.
Start planning. We brought our lunch which made it even more inexpensive.
The girls would love it. And there is a whole area devoted to kids two and under where Will could crawl around.

bethany said...

Perhaps it's just the end of a beautiful, tiring day for me too, but that just made me cry!

Michelle said...

Woo-hoo! I am so glad you guys had a great time. It sounds perfect.

Bob"O" said...

Meg I cried too every time i read it.
How I missed some of those times with you guys growing up. Please keep writing you all are giving me a second chance. love dad