Walking down the darkened halls of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, I realized my museum love. The high ceilings and polished floors. The generous spaces and expertly lit treasures. The marble stairs and mirrored elevators. The gift shop and garden. The curators and educators all there to preserve and communicate, to help us understand how things work and how we fit into this amazing world. Museums are our history and judging by the many visitors last Saturday, they are our future.
I waited for the elevator with a young preschooler and his grandparents. He danced around us. His shoes lighting up as he circled asking questions and getting answers that required more questions. Why was the elevator taking so long? Which one do you think will open first? Why does it take so long? Don’t they know we’re in a hurry? I wondered who he thought “they” were and marveled at his urgency as if it might disappear if he got there too late.
The elevator finally arrived, and the boy ran toward ding only to stop short at the closed doors. The doors opened, and he ran in to face the mirror at the rear of the car. The doors closed, and he jumped with the movement. The elevator stopped, and he froze just long enough his for grandpa to grab his hand harnessing him for the next adventure.
This little boy reminded me of many museum trips with energy-filled kids. Of the times I’d answered questions, grabbed a hand, pushed a stroller, pulled out the snacks, and wandered the many halls, till the wonderings and energy waned, and we found our way past the dinosaur in the entryway and towards home.
Thank you Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Read more slices here.