Playing, talking, relaxing

We went to the City Museum today. It’s a children’s museum, the kind of place where you can go through tunnels, climb, jump, go down slides, see amazing, eclectic displays of everything from building friezes to art made of machine parts, play in a ball pit, and explore busses and trains. And that’s only some of it. In fact, I am not sure there’s anything else like it anywhere. It is one of the best places I’ve ever been. The kids were in heaven. We met friends of my sister’s with their three kids, and so there was a 5-person posse running around. After a while I shed my backpack and ran around with them. Takeaways from today include: a) let yourself play like your inner kid wants to; b) remember that your adult body needs care and sometimes to move slowly, and; c) your kid is always capable of more than you realize. It astounded and delighted me to see Hazel climbing high up. When she’d had enough she came down. When she fell down and scraped herself she cried, but then she went back and tried it again.

My parents took care of the twins while we were gone, and they did well. My mom took them for a walk, and fed them. They were ready for us to be home a bit before we were, but overall, it was a very successful day.

After a short nap, we met a former teacher of mine for snacks and conversation. That was wonderful. I feel like high school was several lifetimes ago, but though there are football-field-sized holes in my memory, I am ever more grateful as I age for the diverse community in which I was privileged to grow up and for the excellent education I received from an exceptional group of passionate, interesting, and committed teachers. As well as teaching me, several of them also provided important emotional support that helped me survive the sometimes very challenging hurdles of my adolescence. I deeply believe the notion that it takes a village to raise a child. I think our connections to others are necessary for our well-being and development as human beings. Great, caring teachers play a pivotal role in the development of many children. I only hope that my children will have that kind of support as they move through their educational journey.

After that we came back for dinner, and I was finally able to get into the hot tub which was one of the big reasons why we picked this place for our temporary home. Hazel got in with me. I relaxed in the hot water, and she played around the edges. What a delight. Then, after dinner my sister and niece arrived. Hazel joined her cousin in the shower, a rare treat. We haven’t spent this much time together ever, I think. That’s been another big benefit to our trip.

Tomorrow we’ll pack, head over to my parents for lunch and nap, and then it’s on to part two of our adventure. Hazel doesn’t want to leave. But there is more fun to come, which will hopefully soften the sadness of saying goodbye.

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