Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting There is Half the Fun

Probably the biggest thing I have learned from my children is slowing down to notice the small things. They remind me to not rush through something to achieve the end result, but rather to enjoy each moment. Every day they take time to stop. They do not worry about time or the calendar or obligations. Yesterday was no different.

Our trip downtown to our local science center was a delightful mix of wandering and noticing. I try to take our local mass transit train(PhART) whenever I get the opportunity. Yes, it often takes longer. Yes, it can be crowded on the way home. Yes, we have to wait and practice patience. However, the benefits are great. While riding to our destination, Benton and Aine remarked on all the wonders of the train. They noticed people riding with us and landmarks that we passed. Benton and I discussed what emergencies would justify pressing the red call button. We counted stops, wondered if we should get off at other stops and surmised on how far we could walk comfortably if we did get off at those stops. Eamon was able to read, and I knit as we rode. It was fantastic, and only cost $3.50 - much less than fuel and parking!
The kiddos remembered that there are bronze sculptures along our walk to the center. Eamon and Aine thought they might be a temporary thing and were so delighted to discover the statues are permanent. I stopped with them for quite a long while as they played. At first I wanted to move us along as we were meeting a group of friends. Instead I remembered to relax and notice with them. I pulled out my knitting and looked around the area. Our city can be so beautiful this time of year even in its urban setting. We discovered little people without pants in the scorpion's pinchers. We remarked on the pill bug's mismatched shoes. Each of the kiddos tried to figure out what the round discs by the bug's toes were. We just really soaked up the moment without worry about schedules or commitments.

Their exploration continued when we arrived. We spent a lot of time watching demonstrations and talking to staff. Most of our time was spent in one area really testing out the displays. When most of our group went to the current pirate exhibit, we declined (part of my recommitment to a budget). Instead of worrying about missing something, we found other areas to explore. It was a great afternoon, and no one wanted to leave.

Testing out the bed of nails
Watching the ball move through her track
Spinning and spinning until you cannot stand
Leave we must, though, as the museum is not open all hours. Aine suggested we sit outside for a bit and eat the rest of our snacks. For a bit, I sat as they ran around. Their giggles and laughter carried me as I looked at the sky, our belongings and the area. They ran into me laughing as they played chase. Each climbed on a large rock to sit. As we walked back to the PhART station, we discovered some carvings atop a gate. Each of us stopped in our own way to check them out. We talked about Egyptian phrases, good weather, friends and food. As we neared home, we planned our next trip hoping for more adventure and noticing.


  1. i have got to get the big kids a key to the house so i just can stay places longer. no one was ready to leave, when we left. me included.

  2. Our kids loved the science museums when we went. I always found them just as fun-so much to learn. That spinny photo had me a little dizzy :)

  3. What a wonderful place! We have to drive a ways to reach anyplace like that, but it's worth it!

  4. Sounds like a WONDERFUL day!!! So... the PhART... is it pronounced "fart?" That's what I said in my head as I read it... and yes, I giggled. ;-)

    I can't believe how big the kids are getting. I hate not seeing them. Miss you guys terribly!

  5. Do you wave at Sophie and Abby's school when you go by on the way to the Science Center on PhART?