The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton OH is a fabulous place to bring your children or grandchildren.
There is so many areas of play that my two grandchildren were immersed in their own imagination and exploration for hours. There are web ladders to a second floor, a curly slippery slide, a water table, a pioneer cabin, a color wall and many more exhibits.
I brought along my knitting, found a bench where I could keep an eye on them and proceeded to finish knitting a hat I’m making. My grandchildren who are 13 and 11 went from exhibit to exhibit and back again for hours.
My first bench mate was a somewhat aging father who had one daughter with him and she was climbing the web to the second floor and sliding down the curly slide repeatedly. I have no idea where she got so much energy but it appeared this dad was taking a time out. He sat down on the far end of the bench, leaned against the wall, with eyes closed and was still for quite some time.
My phone keep beeping as tweets came in and I checked them quickly so as not to disturb him. It happened that this was Tuesday and the Billboard stats came out for the previous week. My son’s band had released a EP the previous Tuesday and we learned they had debuted at #10 on the Billboard list. The tweets were flying fast and furious and soon the dad turned and peeked at me texting yet another reply.
I explained I was hearing and tweeting good news and he replied he just didn’t understand Twitter. It was fun to explain how it worked. I had a semi captive audience and I love to talk. It seems odd to me that someone younger than me would be ignorant about Twitter, but he is no longer. He was under the impression people were just getting information about celebrities and he had no interest in them. Learning how easy it is to keep up with a circle of friends while away from a computer impressed him enough to grudgingly agree it might be a good thing. I’m betting he signs up.
His daughter called from the second floor for him to join her and he carefully got up, stretched and trudged up the stairway. I was not surprised he took the stairs even though I had seen several young moms nimbly climb the web earlier.
I continued knitting and by and by a grandmother wandered over and gratefully sank onto the bench. She noticed, as the man had not, that I was busy knitting and thought it was great I had something to do while waiting. I basked in her admiration for my industry. She couldn’t believe how such a huge item, though, could be a hat. I was grateful I had my yarn and extra needles and supplies in my felted bag and could show her how by washing this wool hat when it is finished would result in shrinking to the same solid felted fabric as the bag. She loved the fabric and would really like to have a hat. She did not know how to knit but did crochet and is now armed with directions for finding a pattern on Ravelry, a worldwide resource for knitters and crocheters.
I learned all about her family and she heard about mine while her husband squired her only grandson around the second floor of the museum. She rested. She talked about the son and his wife who live in Canada and why. We discussed the daughter and husband who lived nearby. They had their grandson for a couple of weeks alone and they had branched out from the attractions in Indianapolis where they lived, to our neck of the woods. They had been on a short road trip of a few days and had covered the Air Force Museum and several parks. One of the parks visited I had not heard of, just a few miles away.
They had planned to eat at The Spaghetti Warehouse and hoped they could find it. I have been there and was able to give good easy directions from the museum and heartily recommend it. I suggested the 10 year old grandson would love to eat inside the actual vintage trolley that was in the center of the restaurant. If you don’t request it they seat you elsewhere. When her husband returned with her grandson who was skipping and hopping still, she was now looking forward to dinner. She left with the web addresses of Ravelry and also my articles! Maybe I have a new reader!
The museum was closing soon and the announcements were coming frequently. The children were not quite ready to leave but I moved to the front lobby area and waited. Money was burning a hole in the pocket of my oldest grandchild and I would be visible from the museum store.
The following day they clamored to come back. (see a slice show of that visit here) We had plans for Sunwatch Indian Village but promised afterwords we would come back.
This time I had my daughter with me and was assured of company as I knitted. She was not impressed with the benches. I had admired them with their indented nature items resembling fossils. The leaves and bones and bottles were interesting in the stone like material. She found the benches freezing to sit on and after some time said she could no longer sit there. I looked at her spot and suddenly the half inch deep wheel with the teeth all around it looked painful to sit upon. Again I blessed my ample backside that gives me comfort when I am forced to sit in bleachers, stadium seating and picnic benches. I hadn’t felt a thing the previous afternoon.
Today we joined a woman who was already seated. She was reading a book but when I took out my knitting she became interested and asked me about it. Our conversation moved to the children she had brought and she had eight Haitian orphans with her and her daughter who had adopted them. Her daughter is a missionary to Haiti and this is her second set of eight adopted children. I was open mouthed with disbelief. The first group of eight were all college graduates now and professional men and women.
Her daughter has lived and worked in Haiti for thirty years or so and was home for awhile because her home in Haiti had been destroyed in the earthquake. They were here until it was rebuilt. The eight young people, I believe were all young men, were ranging in ages from about 7 to 14 and were an active group! I had noticed them earlier, some interacting with my grandson, as we talked.
One of the most astounding things I learned was the ocean surrounding the island was not clean enough for swimming. There were just a very few beaches open and much too crowded and difficult to visit. It seems the contamination comes from the trash being dumped close by and from the waters of the contaminated rivers pouring into it. I felt a great sadness about that. She told us many things about the country. Her daughter loved living and working there and she herself had been many times for long visits. The country has never been clean like we know it but has it’s beauty. They are all anxious to be going home even with all the advantages they have here. I liked hearing that.
We talked the entire visit and met her daughter who came by trying in vain to gather the children. It wasn’t yet closing time but mother and daughter were ready to go. Dinner must be prepared and so their lovely afternoon would have to be cut short. The daughter was older than I expected and I admired her for taking on so many orphans. What a wonderful women she is and how useful her life has been.
The museum has invited them to many events and knew them well. They came often. The children were well behaved and were reluctant to leave. That says a lot for this museum. As I said earlier, there is much to do and see. When children are fueled by imagination they do not get bored.
We ourselves were reluctant to leave when they closed, but we left refreshed. We still had another park to visit for the evening and more people to meet.