The Museum of Science

With heavy rain coming, a family sub-group is at the Boston Museum of Science. We wanted to see the new space exhibit. Also, I didn’t want to sit around the house.

The exhibit was extremely interesting and well worth it. My favorite part was a satellite video of the earth, flashed onto a large screen.

Also, it is fun to see so many people from all over the world. There are tourists visiting with grandparents and cousins. Big groups, small groups, people of all heights, shapes and colors.

Flip-flops, sneakers, yoga pants, dress slacks, loafers, a sari here, a hijab there. It is all here.

There also is a multitude of parenting styles: soft, gentle, loud, physical, attentive, laissez faire, affirming, punitive. All that also is here.

Some people are wearing newly-bought Red Sox or Harvard t-shirts. There’s one guy bravely wearing a Yankees jersey.

It is a veritable sea of summer humanity, with many visitors from other states and nations.

I haven’t been to the museum in over 10 years. When our children were younger, we used to go often to there, as well as to the Children’s Museum. With a stroller and/or a Baby Bjorn, and a lot of other gear, we used to amble our way around.

Progress was always slow. We would stop often: diaper changes, feedings, and breaks. If something caught a child’s eye, we would thoroughly explore that area.

I remember a trip to Disneyland. While the rest of the family went on rides, I pushed a stroller for hours while our youngest child napped.

It was a tremendous relief when we were finally able to leave at home all diapers, pull-ups and strollers. The logistics of travel became streamlined. It was great when all the children no longer needed naps.

I’m actually writing this while at the museum’s café. The museum is loaded with parents, babies, toddlers and small children.

Parents are lining up to buy food for their children and kids everywhere are nursing, eating baby food, or chowing on pizza or chicken fingers.

I am smiling as I write this post. The kids are really cute, and I truly empathize with the parents. Care-giving is hard work. There are moments of joy and satisfaction, but much of it is monotonous and soporific.

Many years ago, as I’ve written in the past, a father told me this: Every year of parenting gets better. Back then, all of our children were very young, and I couldn’t comprehend what he meant.

I do now.

With some of our children in college, and the others very independent, I now can see what he meant. The kids are really interesting and thoughtful. They’re making good choices.

As I wrote in my last post, just seeing them together, at dinner, walking or chatting, is just very fulfilling for me.

So, for all young parents out there, don’t fret. It really does get better each year.

Two of our children head back to college in about a month. The household again will shrink and get quieter. Until then, I will be fishing less on the weekends to hang out with the children as much as I can.

My life progresses further, as vestiges of youth slides away. So much has changed in my life, and it is always fun to revisit a place that reminds me of my children back when they were infants.

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