Category Archives: party

Partying With the Dinosaurs—A Night at the Museum

Even the dinosaurs had fun!

Even the dinosaurs had fun!

Last Saturday night the Mister, the #2 son, and I partied like there was no tomorrow!

Sidebar: Actually, the party started at 7:30 p.m. By 10:15 p.m., both the Mister and I were yawning. We’re not exactly what you’d call “party animals.” Old-timers that we are, we seem to have a lot in common with the dinosaurs!

Greg, Robert, and the #2 son

Greg, Robert, and the #2 son

This was the most-unusual Bar Mitzvah party that we ever had attended—it was at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Brothers Robert, who is the #2 son’s age, and Charlie had shared their coming-of-age service that morning and decided to celebrate in style.

Sidebar: For those of you from Chicago like myself, the HMNS is a much-smaller combination of the Field Museum and the Museum of Science of Industry. I remember the first time I took the boys to the HMNS many years ago. After we had looked at each and every exhibit, I said, “And where’s the rest of the museum?” That’s how much smaller it is.

Part of a huge geode at the museum's entrance

Part of a huge geode at the museum's entrance

The museum, though, is nice and was a wonderful venue for the party. I must admit that I walked into the main hall, which features several dinosaur skeletons, with a bit of trepidation while recalling both of the “Night at the Museum” movies. Fortunately, nothing dead seemed to be coming alive; there were absolutely no sightings of Owen Wilson!

Cheesecake!

Cheesecake!

But there were tables set up on both floors of the museum with plenty of food, even for the picky vegans like myself. The boys’ mom, Leah, who is one of my gal pals, made sure to have lots of salad, fruit, veggie stir fry, and even veggie skewers.

The Mister likes to learn.

The Mister likes to learn.

The Mister and I had a good time walking around and looking at the exhibits.

Crystally gem thing

Crystally gem thing

We especially enjoyed the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, which has a breathtaking collection of . . . well, gems and minerals. It’s a darkened area with music from the 1940s piped in. You really can get lost in all the beauty.

As usual, I was bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t brought my Nikon f/1.4 50mm lens with me; instead, I had opted for my all-around Nikon 17-55mm lens on my Nikon D300 (as well as my Nikon SB-600 flash). The 17-55 just couldn’t do the gems and minerals justice, so I’ve vowed to make a return trip to the museum with the 50mm in the near future.

Eli ponders the pendulum.

My neighbor Eli ponders the pendulum.

Once the Mister and I left the gems, we went back to the main floor to watch the Foucault Pendulum swing (it was mesmerizing to my young neighbor Eli, whose family also was at the party) and then partake in our favorite activity: Seeing the #2 son in a social setting with his peer group, most of whom we’ve known since they were in first or second grade.

#2 tries to spin the big microphone.

#2 tries to spin the big microphone.

There was one teensy, itsy, bitsy problem with the whole scenario, though. Minor stuff, really. Well, except that it was one of those watershed moments in the life of a teenaged boy and his adoring parents.

We became an embarrassment. Right there in front of God and country and the dinosaurs.

A moment for silence . . . and laughter from the more-experienced parents out there.

tb-#6539-(#2)

Yes, our #2 son actually told us that he wished we would’ve stayed home, even though we also were invited to the party. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear.

Call me naive, friends, but I really never expected this to happen with the #2 son. All adults who know him will tell you what a sweet boy he is. While we knew that the #1 son wasn’t about to take care of us in our old age (“Beat it, Mom and Pop”), we had high hopes for #2. I remember when Lindsey, my neighbor JJ the organizational whiz’s daughter, discovered that her parents were an embarrassment (hard to believe, because JJ and Bill are beyond the coolest ’rents ever!). I laughed and thought I’ll be spared that scenario.

Now JJ is laughing at me! Not that that’s unusual, though.

The #2 son and his good friend Marcus talk.

The #2 son and his good friend Marcus talk.

Was it wrong to haul out the big photo equipment to document the party? Should I have stuck with the Olympus point and shoot, which is less intimidating? Should I have lived with the lesser image quality? The world will never know.

Actually, I think the fact that there were cute freshman girls at the party added to #2’s embarrassment. Even though I’ve been taking pix of some of those gals since they were tykes in elementary school.

My neighbor Maddie, Eli's sister

My neighbor Maddie, Eli's sister

Like this cute gal! Maddie is our neighbor. Her parents also were at the party, and, like #2, Maddie was mortified. Her mom T-bird and I laughed about our teenagers and promised to embarrass them as often as possible (not hard for us). But near the end of the party, I saw T-bird and the Mister in a pensive mood by the pendulum.

The Mister and T-bird

The Mister and T-bird

Our kids are growing up . . . and leaving us behind for now. But we’ll never be extinct as parents . . . or documenting photographers!