He’s a firefighter. A secret agent. A doctor. A baseball player. A superhero. An astronaut … and sometimes he’s my Lego-building partner.
Most of these identities are imaginary and we do our best with our makeshift costumes and equipment made out of recyclable materials. However today I thought I would step it up a notch and provide an experience where I didn’t have to use an old Gatorade bottle or paper towel roll. Today we finally made our way to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour, something he’s been wanting to do ever since it made the long trek through the streets of our city and found its home at the California Science Center.
It was something we were so jazzed up about that I got advanced tickets so that we wouldn’t have to wait in the crowded line. I never get advanced anything but when it comes to kids’ activities I totally learn. I don’t want to get caught by every parents’ worst nightmare … The Public Meltdown. So you do whatever it takes, which includes the strategic planning of a genius … of a Mission Impossible agent … of a mother of two.
You get advanced tickets that give you an entrance time well after morning traffic, but before nap time. You plan it to get an awesome three or four-hour block of engaging entertainment. You check for the closest parking lots and always bring cash because you never know when the machines could be down. In addition you pack whatever it takes … granola bars, Goldfish Crackers, grapes, cheese sticks, fruit wraps, pita chips, an arsenal of juice boxes, books, learning toys with all the Disney, PBS, Sprout Channel, and Nickelodeon characters, and the master savior … The Ritz Cracker.
You walk out the door with your two kids and five bags and you think … I got this. I got this! You slip in the Jack Johnson CD and know you’ll be there by track five or six. The morning rush hour should no longer exist.
And then you’re zooming passed the cars until disaster hits. Traffic. You don’t understand it. There shouldn’t be any. Did you expect big rig trailers and trucks … yes a few, but not a massive traffic jam filled with SUVs and sedans. You don’t understand it. And then after an hour-long trek, which really should have lasted twenty minutes, it hits you. Caps, gowns and Hawaiian leis. Graduation. College graduation.
By the time I finally parked, I was down to my last Ritz cracker. But once we got inside, I didn’t need the emergency reserve.
It was one small step for man, one giant step for Guatkind.