living a well tended life... at any age

kicking it old school – part one, new york hall of science

One of the more poignant things about parenting is the constant push/pull of time. Pushing it forward. Pulling it back. Rushing to the next phase. Holding on tight. I marvel at my ability to be joyful and mournful at the same time over any given moment. The first day of school. A “milestone” birthday. A loose tooth. Joyful, because they are mostly happy, celebratory occasions. Mournful? I don’t know why. Even as I write this I can’t figure out why I ever feel sad as my children grow. Personally, I have never wanted them to be any other age than the age they were right then and there (yes, even during the teenage years).

Each age always brings its hurdles and frustrations, but also with it a new level of accomplishments and independence. It’s not only a great achievement for a child to feed himself but doesn’t it also make life easier? So why do we feel so sad putting away those bottles and baby spoons?

For me, one of those sadder “passages” would occur each time Chelsea and Conor would tell me that they were “too old” to visit a place that we had previously made a tradition of. The park. The zoo. The holiday train show. Those were real markers that they were growing up and seeking activities separate and apart from me.

So the arrival of Noah has been especially meaningful in that I get to re-visit cherished places, and see them again through  a new set of eyes – as I’ve written before, the ultimate “do-over”. I had just such an experience on a recent “Thursday with Noah”.

Still working my way through my list of playgrounds to visit, I noticed that #10 on the list was at the New York Hall of Science.

The Hall of Science was an oft-visited and beloved destination when Chelsea and Conor were little. And although Noah was still a bit young to appreciate most of the exhibits and hands-on features, the day was glorious and the playground beckoned – so off we went!

The Hall of Science was the site of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and there are two real NASA rocket ships from the fair, on display outside:

new york hall of science

We headed straight for the playground, and though mostly geared toward older children, Noah had a ball:

new york hall of science

new york hall of science

new york hall of science

Inside? Just as I remembered it – two giant floors filled with hands-on displays and exhibits, all designed to teach children about science and technology. Noah took a quick turn at playing chemist:

new york hall of science

and we headed to the “Preschool Place” – perfect for my little guy. There was a huge train set,

new york hall of science

 giant tubes for building,

new york hall of science

utensils for cooking,

new york hall of science

new york hall of science

(did someone say bins?)

and a great big area for block-building.

new york hall of science

new york hall of science

new york hall of science

It was a great day – I can’t wait to bring Noah back as he gets older, and can appreciate more of what the museum has to offer.

I truly feel so lucky that I get to do this all over again, and that – on a very rare occasion – I can even get my two “big kids” to come along:

museum of natural history

How about you? I’d love to know how you feel about the different stages of parenting, and if you experience that same “push/pull” of time – please share!

New York Hall of Science


  1. Melanie on July 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Nathaniel and Noah would have such a great time together!

    I definitely feel that sadness of my little guy getting older. He used to make this really cute sound for the word water, but last week he asked for “water.” I was like, “Nooooo!”

    I feel like some of it may be that I know that this will be the first and last time I experience the life of a child. Drew and I are only having one, so each time a part of his babyhood is over, I say goodbye to it specifically and it as a life experience for me.

    • sherisilver on July 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Oh the baby words, I know! Noah used to call Chelsea “Dee” – and now he doesn’t – along with so many other things. He’s my new “last” too, so I can really relate to how you feel. Can’t wait to get those 2 together! xo

  2. Sandra on July 3, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I had one of these moments this week. The girl first visited NYC at five months and since then we have gone to Madison Square Park playground. We went again this time (her fifth trip) but at 6 1/2 she’s too old for it. Sniff… Found some good replacements- Union Square and Chelsea Waterside – they both have the challenging monkey bars and climbing equipment that she loves.

  3. Hotly Spiced on July 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I feel exactly the same way as you. I often tell people I feel like Alfie’s grandmother in that I’m repeating all the things I did with the older two and enjoying seeing Alfie go through all those stages the older two have outgrown. It’s such a blessing xx

    • sherisilver on July 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      I knew you would relate to this! xo

  4. Rosa @ FlutterFlutter on July 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve never been to NYC with children. This place looks fabulous! My kids love Science World in Vancouver, so I think this would captivate them too.

    • sherisilver on July 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      It’s so good – and I love that it’s just as I remembered with my older children, with some great new additions like that playground! 🙂

  5. Jesse @ Buckhouse on July 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    First: I just recently discovered your blog, and it is fabulous. Second: As a mother of two growing boys, one who just finished his first year of high school and the other heading into 4th grage, this particular post really struck a cord. I had not named the feeling that seems to accompany joy and pride with every passing milestone. Mournful is the correct word.

    • sherisilver on July 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

      Thanks so much! Just sent you an e-mail gushing about your blog – happy to have “met” you! 🙂

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