"I don't want to go, I'm going to be bored..." complained a child, who shall remain nameless.
Needless to say, once we got there, said child immediately ran off with friends (IS's kids).
Our local Museum of Natural History is a very quaint museum (read: small, old, slightly run down). Nevertheless, there is plenty to see and learn.
The museum has the basics: geology, dinosaurs, evolution, animals, reptiles, fish, the human body, an earthquake room.
With IS and her family, 8 kids all together, someone was always calling, "hey, look at this!"
There was a general atmosphere of exploration and fun, with just the right amount of "hey, I remember this from last time!"
In the earthquake room, Y and A called to YE "take a picture of us... we have a picture of us here, from two years ago." It was cute!!
For whatever reason, we all felt really free in the earthquake room -- maybe because we were the only ones there, or because the airconditioner made the room cool and comfortable, or because there was so much to touch!
We had a whole debate about where is the safest place to be... during an earthquake. (comments are welcome, proof texts are appreciated)
Then we went outside and had a picnic lunch, on benches in the shade. (Thanks IS and YE for putting it together!! Thanks Y and A for helping set it up)
After lunch, the kids went off to play "Chayei Sarah" (a.k.a. SPUD), giving IS and I a chance to talk. After an hour or so, A came over. We told her we wanted to keep talking privately, and asked her to go back and play. A asked "What do you still have to talk about??" IS and I laughed. "We've been friends for over 20 years," I answered my curious child, "and we haven't run out of things to talk about yet!"
It was hot. Eventually all the kids returned to the shade and plopped down on the benches. We ate the rest of the cool melon.
As I finished rinsing my hands with tap water from one of our bottles, I flicked my wet fingers in Y's direction, laughing. She took her water bottle and sprinkled me with water. "Don't waste mineral water," I scolded her, laughing. MD took her bottle and started gulping down the rest of her water. I stood up, already seeing where this was heading. When he finished, my son casually strolled towards the water taps. I followed close behind, until we were racing to fill up our bottles.
Soon, we were in a semi-serious water fight.
YE kept calling at us not to waste water ("There isn't enough water in the Kinneret!"), but it was a lost cause.
Y seemed satisfied to stand aside, and watch MD and I battle it out. At one point, she came over to "confide" something to me. Her ruse worked. As I bent closer, to hear her, she tipped my own water bottle onto me!
Within a few minutes, we were all wet and laughing. The cool water provided a pleasant relief from the day's heat. But I didn't want us to get my car wet! Not to worry; the sun quickly dried us up!
Before we left, we gathered at the same place where we began our museum visit two years ago. Once again, we took a photograph of all the kids on the stone Stegosaurus.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Reaching the end of my strength
14 minutes ago