Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Doctor, not Mister

Back in the day, the Boston Children's Museum was located in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, in a big old house if I recall. There was a giant replica of a rotary telephone outside that you could climb on. Somewhere there must exist a Kodak of me doing just that. My parents were friends with Michael Spock, then the director of the place. Mike's dad was the famous Dr. Spock, your go-to guy for parenting in the 1960s. His daughter and I grew up in the same town, went to the same school, and were good friends for many years. She had very long dark hair and a fondness for all varieties of monkeys. She also had a kick-ass dress-up collection, a house decorated in orange and purple, and a pair of exceptionally obnoxious songbirds who lived in the kitchen.

(Just pause to imagine for a moment being the granddaughter of the most famous pediatrician in the world, and the daughter of the director of the best known children's museum. That's pretty heavy duty.

But I digress.)

Since then the museum has moved to (and played a part in revitalizing) the Fort Point Channel neighborhood of South Boston. It's in a lovely three-story brick building overlooking the harbor. The famous, larger-than-life Hood milk bottle stands outside the entrance.It's also about 10 blocks from our hotel, so we headed over there this afternoon for some fun.

Funny how time slips away, right? Today it was my turn to be the parent, and my kids' to be the kids. I loved watching them climb, explore, play, and negotiate all over the place. It's still a great museum, although man is the politically correct force ever strong with those people. I don't think there's an exhibit that doesn't in some way or other reflect gender equality, ecological soundness, or respect for other cultures, if not all three at once. That and especially the commercialism (Arthur and D.W. are major players over at BCM) left something of a bad taste in my mouth. But still, good times had by all.

Incidentally, I love the museum's tips for parenting in public.

No comments: