Quick catch up - On New Year's Eve I decided to volunteer at the Kidspace Childrens Museaum in Pasadena. I decided this to not only help with kids but also in hope of slowing down my baby crazy family building obsession.
Cut to: Early morning New Year's Eve. I am a late sleeper but not today. I was up bright and early. Showered and dressed with my face on by 8:30. I did not have to be to Kidspace until 9:15 and it is only about 5 min away. So I take my time kissng Potsch bye and making my way to the car. I plug the address into my iphone and start following the directions...What the?!
The Kidspace Childrens Museum is located basically in the Rose Bowl. It is New Years Eve!!!!
This was a whole new world for me. I never even thought this was a possiblity. Every inch of road, sidewalk and even grass was covered in crazy huge family campers that were decked out in GO TEAM!! THE DUCKS RULE!!! I thought the Ducks were a hockey team? These families, and I mean the whole family tree, seemed to have moved their whole life to camp out at a football stadium. Sadly, I don't know if I love anything that much.
As confusing as the whole camp out for sports thing is to me, I have to say, it did look like tons of fun.
I got to the parking lot by 9am and after driving around and being rerouted and waiting for gawking football fans to cross in front of my moving car I was 15min late to work. Lame volunteer worker. Luckily there were no kids to disappoint as the museum was not open yet.
Being the oldest volunteer by maybe 15 years I was of course given the job of Snow Island Guard. At first I thought this was going to be the lamest job of all. I signed up to play with glue and sparkles not to be in charge of snow that is more like a huge block of ice ready to slice up and destroy the adolesence of any kid who slips just slightly face first. But turns out I rocked that Snow Island and all its inhabitants. From 9:30 to 2pm I stood in the sun in my sweet thousand pocket voluteer vest and gave those kids the time of thier life playing with ice. I refused to be the kind of Guard who just yells NO!! Don't do THAT!!! I decided I would provide safety by giving fun altenatives and comments of aknowledgement. Granted I only had one rule which was "no throwing snow (ice) at people". But still I had kids from 2 to 12 and I never had a single problem. The kids loved me. They listened to me. Their parents not so much.
"How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. Amazing book in general not just for parents and kids.
Around 11:40am I got to leave Snow Island to pour and pass sparkling apple cider to the kids and their parents. In the outdoor ampitheatre a fun hipster kids band played and got everyone dancing and signing and practicing the count down. In the lamest way possible I am tearing up right now writing this. I was so happy there. New Years is such a great time anyway. Everyone is so full hope and excited about new beginings and new chances. In some ways it is the only time people really embrace the unknown and the idea of chance. I loved being around all those kids and their parents, and all the colors and sounds of giggles.
At noon The band played the New Years Songs and balloons rained down. Hand-made noise makers were getting shaken so hard their barely dry glue had to hang on with all it could as colorful streamers were waved creating momentary rainbow halos about little kids heads.
Back to Snow Island. I was super happy to go back. The sun had melted a good bunch of the island and the kids were taking advantage of it's weak sides. Kicking them and stomping on them till they were just a puddle.
2pm came. Time to turn in my vest'o'pockets, which I surprising quite liked.
My jet cooling plan had turned on me. Instead of me getting ovewhelmed by all the rowdy screeming munchkins and thanking God that I don't have to deal with this everyday, I began to rise with pride and a brilliant smile of confidence and excitement planted itself hard on my face. THIS is what I am camping out for. Team Family! Go TEAM!!!