Friday, February 08, 2013

The 38-Year-Old

 Last Saturday was my birthday, and my birthday is always awesome.  This year Ed was in class all day (he's in an executive MBA program which meets every other weekend), so I had to make my own awesome, which is actually really easy with my girls.

I decided to take them on a day trip.  So at 7:30 a.m. last Saturday morning we packed some snacks and movies, and loaded into the van for an adventure.  We drove 2 hours and 10 minutes north to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to go to a science museum there, the Whitaker Center

We'd never been there, but a friend had told us about it, and since DC doesn't have a science museum (lame!), I thought this was the perfect chance to go check it out.  It was just the right size for us, with three small levels, a super 0-5 area, and an IMAX theater showing Flight of the Butterflies in 3D.
 Hickmans running the marketplace.
 Poppy splashing in the baby seats at the water table. 
 Hazel and Ginger could have spent all day just hauling bricks. 
 After an hour of playing, and the 45-minute movie, during which Poppy refused to wear the 3D glasses, asking instead for a Backyardigans show on the iPod, which I had fortuitously thought to bring, we walked across an enclosed bridge to the nearby mall and had lunch at the food court.  There was this cool two-story gadgety clock at the food court.
 Playing with sciencey stuff.
 I built these arches myself, ahem, thank you.  They held under Poppy's jumping and climbing.  Thank you.
 Making, and then racing, soapbox cars.
 Climbing wall.
I'm not going to pretend the day wasn't without snafus.  Hazel lost our very favorite headband somewhere between that soapbox car picture and the next level.  She cried a lot over that.  On the way out I got myself a chocolate frappe at Starbucks - my Mommy birthday treat for the drive home, which I placed too close to the edge of the car's roof to put stuff in the back, and it fell and exploded all over me and Poppy.  More tears.

But it was mostly awesome.  Hazel and Ginger brought money from their allowance to spend at the gift shop, and that part was really fun.  Hazel bought a make-instant-worms kit and a bag of marbles; Ginger bought two stained glass coloring books.  I also got a few things for their Easter baskets and our upcoming trip to Utah.  I had to say no to the 3-foot stuffed dog Poppy wanted.

When we got home, two of my friends were waiting for me, with flowers and a new butter dish (to replace this one.)  Ed picked up the babysitter on his way home from school, and he took me out to dinner at Green Pig Bistro; everything was excellent.  We had planned to see a movie after, but when we checked the offerings on our phones, there was nothing we wanted to see that met our time frame, so we went home early, stuffed, tired, and happy, and watched MIB III from Netflix.  Awesome.

I don't know what to say about being 38.  It's surreal to be 20 years past 18.  I found my first real age spots on my face just a few weeks ago.  I know I look my age, probably even older.  I've been severely sleep deprived for about 8 years, and that takes its toll, both directly and indirectly.  I'm glad to come from hardy stock, so things aren't even worse.  But looking past my physical age, I consider my life - my kind husband and loving marriage; my children who are complex, wonderful people; my home and friends and many roles I try to fill, often falling short, and sometimes hitting the mark.  It doesn't all seem to be what I expected; in most ways it's better.  It's an amazing life, and I'm so grateful to still have so much more ahead of me.


kat said...

happy late birthday. i had high aspirations for dialing a telephone. alas . . . and when are you going to be in UT? for what purpose? will you be there for weeks so that a side jaunt to CO is also on the books? :)

Shaunel said...

This is awesome! We are so going to the Harrisburg after school's out. Oh, and Happy Birthday!

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