Yesterday heralded two big events in Vince’s young life. His very first soccer game and his very first exposure to ‘The Arts’. And for his pregnant Mummy? Perhaps one of the most exhausting days of my life. Including that time when I gave birth. This trumps that…
Let’s start with what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Well, I guess the usual things that parents think when they sign their kids up for this kind of stuff. “Learning organized sports, interaction with other children, teamwork, exercise, etc” with the added bonus that we will meet some more parents in the neighbourhood (E and I are notoriously bad at that.), so total bonus.
The first practice was a wee bit of a disaster, but ended up ok. Second practice was this past Wednesday and was cut short by torrential downpour. Apparently it was more successful than the first one. Vince participated in group exercise and kicked the ball. Hurray! So based on this, I had high (perhaps too high) hopes for Saturday mornings first game.
And let me add it was everyone’s first game, all ten million different teams ranging from 3 to 16 years old. And their parents, chairs, coolers, dogs and siblings. It was like a circus. It was like being inducted into a whole new world. And Vince hated every single thing about it, including his new team shirt that we had to stuff him in while he flailed about and screamed that he wanted to go home. No going home for you, my dear!! We are going to force you to participate even if the coach has to carry you around!! Which she did!! You know, when she wasn’t forcing his leg to kick something with her hands.
At the 40 minute mark, he had kicked the ball twice and *gasp* ran unaided on the field. But stopped when he saw us watching. And then started crying again.
And then, thankfully, it was all over. And we went and got donuts. I am positive it will get better with time. It was overwhelming for me too, so I can just imagine what he thought.
Post-donut and a clean change of clothes, Vince and I headed out on our adventure. On my numerous trips through Winter Park, I had noticed a very innocuous sign mentioning ‘museum’, once that was in such an odd place that it was easy to overlook. Especially if you drove past it 2 times a day on a really busy road.
So I checked it out online and it sounded amazing. 3 acres of gardens full of sculptures, mostly those of the artist himself and some of other artists. On the edge of a lake, surrounded by old gorgeous houses.
OK, I thought, this might be the perfect place to take Vince. I’ve been wanting to start taking him places that were less ‘Disneyfied’ and more full of potential of even greater wonder and discovery. In a less commercial sort of way.
It was beautiful. We did not tour the historic home of the artist because I am not a crazy person. Vince only kind of destroyed one display in the gift shop, but in my defense it was left open and was full of little shiny trinkets.
“He didn’t touch anything, did he??”, asked the very earnest young woman manning the counter.
“No,” I immediately lied, “Just one of the display signs.” She doesn’t need to know that he squeezed that piece of jewelry, probably would give her a heart attack.
And then we hurried out of the gift shop and went into the gardens for a little wander. It was the type of place that had wild, lush gardens that immediately make you think you could do the same to your backyard with minimal effort. But in reality, it would take an army of gardeners. Statuary was perfectly placed amidst the green. The bamboo forest rustled invitingly. The lake gleamed where the garden ran into it. It was heavenly.
Vince tramped around with his stuffed Clifford dog, which added such a delightful element of whimsy to the whole scene that I laughed out-loud repeatedly…
We were only there for about 20 minutes, just about the right length of time for a three-year-old.
As we walked out to the parking lot, Vince announced “Mummy, that was a very nice walk.”
If you are living local and would like a very nice walk with your little ones, check out the Polasek Museum on Aloma (polasek.org). A truely lovely experience…
xoxo night night my lovlies