Shame on me! I was at the Denver Children’s Museum with two of my boys that I babysit on December 30,2013, and man, was I taught a lesson!
The Denver Children’s Museum was packed. It was winter break for all kids great and small so everyone was there. I had to park a gazillion miles away (I didn’t care because I like to walk, and so do the boys). Upon arriving we paid, squished our way to the fire truck, and then waddled our way upstairs to the “ballroom”, a place where it appears as though orange balls are falling from the ceiling. You can do all kinds of fun things in this room like build tracks for the balls to go down, and into a tube that sucks them up, and shoots them out again onto your ball track for it to do it all again.
I finally got a usable track built for the boys to play with, and found some balls to get the ball rolling (so to speak). There were so many kids, and accompanying grown-ups that it was difficult to find some balls to feed our track, and every time I got some together some kid would come and take them to their own track or wander off leaving me to scavenge again. The boys were ecstatic and were having such a fun time, while I, on the other hand, was getting cranky because I couldn’t keep our balls. I did notice as I was building, and collecting balls one of my little ones would run over to another area, and within a few minutes he’d run back with a slew of balls, and he was so excited.
After trying to maintain our ball stash, and as quickly as we got them they disappeared that when another kid came up and gathered up some of our balls I said: “hey, we’re using those; you can go get your own,” I pointed out the areas where he could get some balls that no one was using. The eldest boy I was babysitting said: “no, no Miss Jaidene it’s okay. I don’t care if he takes them.” He ran off to his gathering place after telling me this. I then realized that he was having as much fun, if not more, gathering balls as he was putting them down the track. The museum has a bin near the ceiling that collects the balls, and after it reaches a certain weight it dumps all the balls out, which in turn, rains down on all the kids. He loved this cycle, and he even showed his little brother so they both got in on the fun.
What an insight for me. The lesson for me given in such an innocent matter of fact way was one we, as adults, have been told a million times: It is the process, the journey, not the end results that is the fun part. I was so caught up in the end result of just putting balls on the track and watching them be sucked up a tube that I missed entirely the journey of collecting them, and the creative ways of discovery. It was the collection of balls NOT hoarding them that was one of the fun parts.
Shame On Me!