Thursday morning, Henry and I got up and got right to it. He was full of vip and vinegar as he always is, and I was unusually bright, aware and ready to go that morning. So we sat down together, each of us with our tablet devices, and got to it.
I was emailing and he was watching Team Umizoomi, but hey, we were a couple of pros getting after it.
I also wanted to tackle work early because my plan was to wrap up a little early that afternoon to do something special with the kids. One of the things we have all really missed doing in all this pandemic nonsense is going to a small local children’s museum in nearby Lafayette.
It is called WOW, and it is pretty great. It has a cool mock up pirate ship and lots of fun things for the kids to do. Being smaller than the big children’s museum in Denver, it is both more affordable and also generally less crazy, so the kids, Erin and I have long been big fans. So much so, that back in January we decided to purchase an annual membership.
Of course, this would be the year. I remember calculating that we only needed to visit the museum with the kids five times in the year to make the membership pay for itself. When COVID hit and shut the world down, we had made four visits. Figures.
I had pretty much surrendered to the idea that we’d never get that fifth visit when we got an email last week that informed us that WOW would be opening for limited hours, and doing a special members’s week with ticketed time slots for member families to visit.
I was able to snag tickets for Thursday afternoon and the kids were super excited. We hadn’t been there in ages, and it was fun watching them talk about what they were most looking forward to doing.
Of course, I was a little nervous. The museum set out a long list of safety protocols, including issuing each family a bag with loose toys that had been disinfected to limit cross-touching of items in the space. I figured we’d give it a shot and see how it went.
I have to say, as always, I was extremely impressed. There were hand sanitizer stations everywhere, and staff was constantly going around spraying down surfaces. Masks were required, of course, everyone abided. It being a member event, we pretty much had our run of the place, too, which was great. There were only a few other families there, so everyone could keep a distance and have fun.
The kids didn’t complain even once about wearing masks. We took a break every few minutes to sanitze hands, and they were great about that, too. In fact, their only gripes were that a few things were shut down for safety, most notably the vending machine they used to love to get fruit snacks from. But that aside, they played hard and had a blast.
Seeing how well the museum is handling their limited opening was very impressive to me, and makes me extra proud to have supported them with membership. Even if I hadn’t gotten that fifth visit, I would have felt good doing my part to keep them going. We will definitely explore coming back and I think they have lifelong members in us.
In a larger sense, it made me think of something I’ve thought for quite a while through the age of COVID. Nothing about this time is idea. We all have to make sacrifices for our own safety and public health. I often think the struggle in our society is that people can’t accept a temporaty downgrade to 60 or 70 percent normal. If we could do that, as places like this show, we could bring the case number down and maintain partial normalcy until the vaccine comes.
But becasue we tend to be all or nothing, people have difficulty scaling back that little bit and accepting some limitations so we all can live in that zone.
For now, I guess all we can do is our best, and I’m glad that we took an hour and gave this a shot. The kids have been troupers through everything and they certainly deserved some time making enormous bubbles and steering the pirate ship.