Monday, June 27, 2011

Bending But Not Breaking

I think it was Mythbusters that ran a show about bulls running in a china shop.

Makes you just want to cringe, huh?

Sean has little spatial awareness.  He's constantly biffing his sisters or knocking into things when moving his hands, opening a door, or contortioning his body in order to crack his back (or neck or any other body part that he has to relieve tension from).

He also loves to touch things.  He has to run his fingers along shelves or leave racks of clothes and merchandise waving in his aftermath.

In other words, Sean is my bull.

We went to the auto museum in Volo, Illinois today.  It's a place we've been to several times before but the last of those were when Sean was safely strapped in a stroller and his arms weren't that long.

No, no trapping could be done today.  Sean and his limbs were unencumbered and my wallet was left unprotected....

The phrase "you break it, you bought it" was on endless repeat in my head.

Maybe it was the boredom of seeing car after car and hearing the accompanying stories of "That was the same car I had in high school, only green" or "That was one of the Indy pace cars in 1986," or the disinterest shown when we tried to explain to him what bench seats and window cranks were, or maybe it was the promise of the two areas of military vehicles....

Or maybe it was the billboard behind the General Lee that showed Bo and Luke Duke...and Daisy Duke in what was presented as shorts at the time....

Either way, he kept his hands to himself and I did not have to whip out the credit card to repair a broken handle on a Model T or a side mirror on a (gulp) Lotus....

Things went pretty well in between Sean's pleas of "When are we going home?"

And then we decided to go to the accompanying antique malls... all three buildings of them!

Aisle after aisle, display case after display case of breakable things and my son the bull at the ready.

"You break it, you bought it" now screamed at me at every turn.  I dared not to say it because then that would cause my son's buddy sarcastic wit to pick up a piece of coloured glass and tempt Fate.

No, I kept this little ditty to myself.

Please let us get out of here with our bank account intact....

For a couple of hours Sean explored and ran his fingers over cases that read "Please do not touch the glass."

When he squatted down to look at something on a lower shelf, I was there with my hand on his back guiding his ascent.

When he twisted, I cringed.  When he went to touch, the word "don't" flew from mine and Rich's mouths.

Oh please, oh please....

Now, I know I talk about Sean but I am not the most graceful swan in the pond either.  I have rounded corners on my kitchen countertops for a reason!

Having the clumsy chromosome should automatically ban me from antique malls of any kind - cars, shops, farm implements.

But I can't resist.  It's not like I go all the time.  It's been years since we last went history hunting.

I know that sounds nutty but it's fun to go to the shops and see the toys and objects of our youth.  It's something tangible to show to Sean and the girls. 

Visual learning and a child's innate curiosity.... that's what we were shooting for by spending those endless hours wandering today.

And then the words "You never know what you're going to find around the next corner" come out of my mouth and Rich finds an article that I will not leave behind.

A milk bottle.

I am a milkman's daughter.  Sean is the grandson, great-grandson, and great-great grandson of a milkman.

The family once owned a dairy back in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  It is an important part of our legacy that I hope someday Sean will understand.

I clutched the bottle hard and this mom-bull didn't breathe until it was safely packed into the back of our mini-minivan.

The day had finally come to an end and our wallets were lighter due only to expected expenses.

"When are we going home?" was finally answered.

And, for now, the myth of the bull - and his mom - in the china shop had been busted.

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