April 4, 2014
By Ekta R. Garg
Enjoy these special spring break Spurts from last week, readers!
Because we had no plans to travel for spring break last week, I signed up the kids for camp at our children’s science museum. The camp offered a full day option for working parents and a half day option. I clicked on “half day” on the website and made note of the instructions that stated kids in the half day camps needed to bring a snack.
When I pack the girls’ lunches for school, I usually make the decisions on what to include. With everyone more relaxed on spring break, I asked Seven and Five every morning what they wanted for their snack that day. They would ask what I had in the pantry (even though I gave them the same answers every day) and would make their decision after that.
By the third day of camp Five had caught on to the fact that she would get to choose her snack.
As I helped her take a shower, I asked, “[Five,] what do you want for your snack today?”
“What are my options?” she asked.
Options…seriously? When I was five years old, I didn’t have options. I barely got snacks.
To reach the museum we would drive through the downtown section of our town. You have to understand, the name “downtown” is more for identifying placement than denoting a hot spot for shopping, dining, and arts and culture. Our downtown includes a few buildings that stand taller in their four or five stories because the surrounding buildings only reach one or two floors.
People can easily discern the height difference, and every morning as I drove toward the museum the kids would look out the windows and gaze up.
“I love downtowns,” Seven would say in quiet delight.
“I know,” her sister would concur. “The buildings are so tall.”
They went through this conversation the same way almost every morning, and it made me smile every time. At seven and five years of age, both girls have traveled more in their short lives thus far than I did at their ages. They’ve seen many large cities, including Chicago (an easy drive from our home.) But it warms my heart to think they can still appreciate the miniature version of a downtown. Other people might make fun of the size of our downtown area, but Seven and Five can still appreciate it for what it is.
Sometimes when we drive around the girls come up with games about the cars next to us. Many times these games include cheering for us to go faster than those cars. I guess it helps that they don’t care about the speed limit. That is, they’re not urging me to drive faster than it. Somehow, though, they still expect our car to go faster than the others.
During one of the drives to camp, the kids got involved in one of their games. They tracked another minivan, and because it had to turn we ended up going faster than it. We zipped past the minivan, and I glanced in the rearview mirror. I saw Seven turn around to watch the van turn.
“Yikes,” she said. “We’re going fast.”
Yikes?! Okay, what generation did this kid come from, the 1950s?
I play classical music in the mornings and usually most of the day. I find it helps start our day on a calm note. It’s kind of hard for an argument between the kids to gain any traction with the dulcet tones of a cello or a flute in the background.
As we drove to camp late in the week, the announcer told us we’d hear a piece on the harp. The music began, and I thought about how soothing it sounded. Apparently, not everyone agreed with that assessment.
“This makes me want to go to sleep,” Five muttered behind me.
I burst out laughing. She sounded so grown up when she said it. Now that the girls have begun studying their own instruments, they’ve begun paying more attention to the music we listen to. I guess, though, that this crossed Five’s classical music threshold.