Our travels to historic sites continued with visits to the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) and the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown today. Great to get moving on an otherwise cold and gray day. We parked in a lot for the USS Constitution and enjoyed the walk along the harbor to the ship. The Boston skyline appears very close and very beautiful.
The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world (according to our tour guide) and it is amazing to walk through. The sailor who gave our tour was wonderfully animated and engaging, and also shared a great deal of information about the ship and its battles. It was pretty cold today so it wasn’t as crowded as it will be in the summer http://www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution/. They don’t charge admission but you are encouraged to make a donation.
We also learned the origin of the word scuttlebutt -noun 1. 1. Nautical. a. an open cask of drinking water. b. a drinking fountain for use by the crew of a vessel. 2. Informal. rumor or gossip. Origin: 1795–1805; 1900–05 Dictionary.com. I knew it meant gossip but did not know the origin. Well worth the visit and be sure to check out a short (ten minute) film about the Charlestown Navy Yard after you visit the ship and visit the visitor’s center. There is also a Museum that looks great that we didn’t have a chance to visit.
We continued on to the The Bunker Hill Monument – we could have walked but it was cold and enthusiasm was fading. Interest revived when we got there and got to make the tremendous climb up 294 (twisting and tight) steps to the top. Great views of the city and the USS Constitution (mostly the masts). There were only a few people at the top – a teacher and her students from California who were as out of breath as we were. http://www.cityofboston.gov/FreedomTrail/bunkerhill.asp A bit dizzying but we are none worse for the wear.
Time for a nice dinner and the Olympics.
When you are a parent, you want to give your child every opportunity. You do. But this also means that your interests are secondary, if that. Even if you do limit activities to one sport per season – resign yourself to sitting in the driver’s seat of your car, especially if you have more than one child. We have been unusually lucky with activities falling on the same day but at different times, although it does make for a long day. When they do overlap, a divide and conquer mind-set prevails as we fan out over suburbia.
Happily, they love their activities and it is wonderful to see skills, teamwork and friendships develop. We share in their successes and disappointments and try to make it a family day. Pack a lunch, bring the dog and if possible, drag encourage the siblings to attend each other’s games.
In our house there are two tvs – the big tv is the one in demand – and the faceoff between the Olympics and American Idol resulted in channel switching that made me dizzy. We all are interested in the Olympics and some of us are interested in Idol. Let the games begin!
It is often a challenge finding appropriate movies that we all want to watch. Thankfully we are past the Disney princess movie stage but the Disney Channel still looms large on (some of) our program choices. I can take a little of the snappy repartee but after any substantial amount of time or after a certain hour of the day, I am tweaked when I hear even the theme music. I do happen to like Phineas and Ferb (it is clever) and small doses of Spongebob Squarepants.
I would love to say that I allow no weekday tv but I do allow a bit after homework is finished and musical instruments are practiced. Sometimes I even get the table set or napkins and dish towels folded. Usually not.
Here is a site that helps check out appropriate movies: http://www.kids-in-mind.com/help/praise.htm
Nothing like sitting through an inappropriate movie with your child to make you want to check this site. Think of the movie Valentine’s Day ( Valentine\’s Day) with your teen. Painful.
Before I had children, my birthday was a big deal, well, to me it was (I am all in favor of the celebrating your birthday for a month). Now, on my birthday, I thank my mom for giving birth to me. For children, the birthday is wonderful in terms of the pure joy but it is also makes me crazy, too. There is so much pressure to make it a perfect day and, the anticpation (how many times can you answer the question “How many days until my birthday?”).
The best part of your children’s birthdays aren’t the amazing parties (done more than a few), the expensive gifts (note to husband: still welcome), but sharing their excitement and, sappy as it sounds, truly celebrating them. I have learned more from my children than I would have ever thought possible. They have taught me patience, joy, and unconditional love. They have also taught me to slow down and truly notice things. While I am still a work in progress, I am beyond happy to have them as my fellow travelers and my children.