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Not OUR Museum

July 5, 2012

One great thing about having a near and dear children’s museum is that, from a very young age, my children have had a very positive association with the word “museum.” So when we vacationed in the Berkeshires with my family, my kids were perfectly happy to hear about the plethora of museums available to us in the area. One day, we headed up to the Amherst area to visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in the morning.

Unfortunately for the preschool crowd, the museum was more art museum than giant interactive caterpillars. One of the currently featured artists is Ezra Jack Keats, with whom, of course, Peter has a very special relationship, but still, it was a museum that emphasized quiet and keeping your hands to yourself. Amos was more interested in the baskets of books in the galleries than in the art on the walls.

Fortunately, they did have an art room with a thoughtful teacher who instructed and encouraged the kids to make their own books.

After a quick recovery lunch, we headed over to every child’s favorite author’s house: Emily Dickinson. Witness the state of mind with which we entered the delicate ladies’ house:

This chaotic state of mind took us through the old house furnished with antiques led by an inexperienced young docent who was easily shaken by little boys hanging on ropes, etc. Ah well, MAYBE Emily would have appreciated their antics more than the rest of us discussing her psyche. The only picture I have of Emily Dickenson’s house was taken by Amos and revealed the shell-shock of survivors of our tour.

Then they had a therapeutic game of bocce.

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