Old pleasures rediscovered

When I was young I loved several of the great museums of Chicago. My parents introduced me to them when I was quite young. Somewhere around my 10th birthday I started on the “Museum Discovery” program at the Field Museum of Natural History”. This was a multi-year program where kids were given questionaires to fill out working their way around the museum exhibits. I went through the whole thing, culminating in an elaborate exercise based on Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle. I also visited the nearby Adler Planetarium, spending every Saturday morning of my Senior High School year at its “Astro-Science workshop.” Of course, I went to the Museum of Science and Industry and the Oriental Institute, both being in easy walking distance from home.

After grad school, back in Chicago, and married, I resumed my connections to these museums, especially the Planetarium. But after our children were born, and they were diagnosed with special needs, I was no longer really able to appreciate them. We occasionally tried taking them to museums, but the effort of minding them made it impossible to appreciate them ourselves. Eventually we stopped going.

Time has passed. Tom, our severely autistic younger son, has moved into a group home. James, the older boy, has Asperger’s syndrome, but can be left at home for hours or even a couple days. We have completed our sentence (at hard labor, I assure you) and now have some time for ourselves. It is taking a while to internalize this.

So today we went to the Science Museum of Minnesota for Make: Day. The special exhibits for the occasion were interesting, and it was fun seeing some of the faces from the TV show, but the sense of being able to relax and appreciate a museum was overwhelming. We are now members. BTW, we went down to the lower level and looked up goddesssif, who was teaching a class. We could only chat briefly (she was busy) but it was good to connect with her.

After the Museum trip we went home and took a nap, then went out to dinner at Mirror of Korea. We had been to Korean restaurants often in our Chicago days, but the one here we had discovered and loved had gone over to the dark side become a karaoke bar and we were lost. Mirror of Korea was good. Fine food, good service, reasonable prices.

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