Reliving My Childhood

Fernbank is a special place to me. I have fond memories of visiting as a child, whether on a school field trip or with my family. It’s where I learned about the dinosaurs as a young boy, and to this day I continue to learn from the amazing exhibits that they bring to the museum.

Point L in this brief story is my son trying to use his hair to wipe his hands clean since they have melted chocolate slathered all over them. Parenting is fun. Now let me go back to Point A.

Point A – Chantel and I arrive at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta for the opening of their annual Winter Wonderland exhibit.

Point B – We lug the stroller out of the car and strap Cecilia in. I push the stroller, and Chantel holds J.R.’s hand as we walk in.

Point C – Before we even get inside, J.R. starts enthusiastically chanting “elevator, elevator, see you now or see you later.” At two and a half years of age, he is old enough to remember where we are going and young enough to think the elevator is the coolest attraction the museum has to offer.

Point D – We check in and get our name tags. J.R. doesn’t understand why we haven’t taken him to the elevator yet. He makes his displeasure known.

Point E – We ride the elevator down one floor. J.R.’s displeasure is gone. His elevator chanting returns.

Point F – With a beautiful spread of desserts, hot chocolate, and cocktails awaiting us on the bottom floor, we start to sample the offerings. Fortunately, the sweets distract J.R. from his desire to ride the elevator again. At least temporarily.

Point G – Knowing that he likes chocolate and pretzels, I hand J.R. a chocolate covered pretzel stick. What could possibly go wrong?

Point H – We ride the elevator up to the top floor. You’d have thought J.R. had died and gone to heaven getting to ride the elevator WITH a chocolate covered pretzel.

Point I – We marvel at the stunning row of Christmas trees decorated in the style of various countries from around the world. They are absolutely beautiful. You should go visit these holidays if you live in the Atlanta area. Or even if you don’t.

Point J – I look down at my son and realize that he hasn’t been holding the pretzel from the bottom, where it isn’t covered in chocolate. He’s had a death grip on the chocolate covered middle of the pretzel.

Point K – Hurriedly, I take the remainder of the pretzel away from J.R. He looks down at his hand and realizes it doesn’t look like it normally does. He freaks out.

Point L – See above.

Point M – Chantel whisks him away to the bathroom to clean him up as much as possible.

Point N – Slightly embarrassed and with my son in need of a bath, we make our exit, vowing to return in future years for what was a truly wonderful event.

Fernbank is a special place to me. I have fond memories of visiting as a child, whether on a school field trip or with my family. It’s where I learned about dinosaurs as a young boy, and to this day I continue to learn from the amazing exhibits that they bring to the museum. Atlanta is so fortunate to have this gem of an organization.

And despite our recent chocolaty disaster, what I’m enjoying most about Fernbank these days is that I get to take my own children there. I’m reliving my own childhood experiences through their eyes, and as they grow, I hope they develop a love and appreciation for the museum. Few places capture the magic of our natural world as well as Fernbank.

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