I made the promise to myself (as well and Josh and the kids) that this year would be the year I suck it up, get some museum memberships, and take the kids on a regular basis. Doing this will be no small feat-we don’t have a car, and the closest museum we have interest in is the Nature Museum, and that takes at least half an hour, if not 45 minutes to get to via public transit. Let’s just say that an hour or more of travel time makes for a very long outing. So, getting to these museums is the first obstacle. The second is the age gap between Jude and Ramona. Jude is six. He’s definitely at the point where he wants to take his time and look at things and ask questions. Ramona, on the other hand, is two. She likes to run. Full stop. Can you see how this might be a problem?
Two weeks ago, the kids and I made an impromptu trip to the Nature Museum and paid for a year-long membership. The trip itself was exhausting, but I blame that, at least in part, on the impromptu-ness of the adventure. One thing that was cool for the kids (and horrifying for me) was the museum’s butterfly haven. Jude was thrilled to see so many different butterflies up close and personal. Ramona sat with me on the bench near the indoor pool at watched the fish. Once we exited the haven, we noticed two big glass windows that had chrysalises behind them. Just looking at them made me itchy, but it wasn’t until I realized that there were some newly hatched butterflies staring me in the face that I begged Jude to check my back once more to make sure there weren’t any butterflies from the haven crawling on me. Ugh.
But! Butterflies! The kids loved them as well as the other exhibits. Josh got to experience their butterfly love this past weekend when we made the trip back down to the museum, this time as a family. And then! Monday! On Monday the kids loaded themselves up with butterfly nets and glass jars filled with flowers and sticks (and binoculars, a magnifying glass, some Pokemon cards, a pail, two shovels, and other stuff, I’m sure), and we headed the playground to try and catch a butterfly or two.
We were unsuccessful in our efforts, but we had a lot of fun trying. Jude devised a few different butterfly traps, and Ramona filled her net (and the bucket) with leaves and mulch and dirt. We took turns using the binoculars to try and spot some butterflies. Jude climbed up high to scope out the area while Ramona and I stayed on the ground. On our walk home from the park, we talked about the different butterflies we had seen at the museum and the reasons why we didn’t see any outside that day.
So! I’m trying. I’m getting us out and I’m even pushing myself to confront my highly irrational fears. I’m hopeful that with careful planning, our next big outing will be much less stressful. Wish me luck.