Happy to See 2020, a New Year, with My Family, Especially My Little Girl

The crowd was immense, and the noise horns became deafening as we awaited that magical moment: the countdown to the new year. Well, actually, it was the countdown to noon, a kid-friendly celebration at the Franklin Institute to celebrate the ending of one year and beginning of another. My daughter and nieces were excited and ready with their horns as the timer approached zero, and the children and adults alike erupted with cheers, more horn blowing and even a huge nitrous oxide cloud (It is a fun science museum) making its way towards the entire crowd to top off the celebration.

In previous years, we’ve done the countdown til noon at the Please Touch Museum as a family, but what made this year extra special was not just that we were at a different location or that we even got selected to be interviewed for the news, but that last year we were at home still nursing Quinn back to health after she was hospitalized for nearly a week during the Christmas holiday, and yesterday was such a sharp contrast and treat to see that beautiful smile on her face and happiness in her voice as she shared what she hopes the new year will bring.

With this new year, I’m sure many people will reference the 20/20 analogy of 2020 in hopes of “seeing” life more clearly. Though I’m always evolving and learning, I truly am grateful for the vision and growth I’ve experienced as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and just a person. Though she’s only six, I attribute a great deal of my growth to my daughter.

Here’s to family, friends and many blessings in 2020 and the years to come!

All the best,

Tanya

Worst Case Scenario: Life Without My Family

Ever think about the worst case scenario? While we may all try to avoid it and hope it never happens, we’re all occasionally put to the test! Last week, the Franklin Institute debuted its new exhibit, “The Worst Case Scenario: Survival Experience,” and today, my daughter, sister, niece and I went and had a ball. Though it was a fun experience reading the tips and doing some of the activities, especially the rush we got from falling backwards into a pool of balls, there were some thought-provoking moments that made me think about the importance of valuing life and loved ones and not taking time or them for granted.

There was a huge blackboard where people could write down their “worst case scenario,” and without giving it much thought, the one that popped into my head was not being attacked by a swarm of killer bees nor being in the middle of an elephant stampede nor trying to escape from the ledge of a building but experiencing life without my family.

Sometimes we’re so busy with work or so self-involved that we don’t even imagine what our lives would be like if those who “matter” were no longer there or were taken away from us. I love my family, and my daughter has made such a huge impact on my life in the six years that she’s been in this earth. Of course, I don’t even want to imagine what my life would be like without her, my husband, mother, siblings and extended family. So instead, I try my best to create lasting memories with her and my family.

One of my “best case scenarios” is simply seeing smiles and feeling the love and joy of my daughter and family as we enjoy each other’s company. What’s your “best case scenario?”

All the best,

Tanya

STEM Fun: Learning at the Franklin Institute with My Little Girl

With a huge smile on her face, my three year old exclaimed, “This place is awesome!” as we explored the many exhibits at the Franklin Institute. This actually was her first time at the Franklin Institute because I was waiting for her to be a little older to be able to enjoy most of the exhibits and activities, but with the Science Behind Pixar exhibit and deciding to get a membership with 15 percent off, I figured it was time. Also, I thought this would be perfect for Quinn’s cognitive development, especially since she’s developed in the STEM areas.

Upon entering the Pixar exhibit, she quickly spotted Dory, Buzz Lightyear and many others and excitedly fiddled around with the interactive components with her two cousins and auntie, who joined us, and her go-to phrases of the day became, “Look at this, Mommy!” or “What’s this, Mommy?” We both learned so much and had a wonderful time, and I was eager to explore some of the exhibits throughout the rest of the museum as I became nostalgic about my own childhood and class trips to the Franklin Institute.

Since she is young, My sister and I wondered if Quinn would be afraid of the giant heart that allows museum goers to walk through it. She had so many questions about what everything was and wanted to know about the heartbeat sound she heard when were inside; she loved it and asked to walk through three more times. She had a blast in the Sir Isaac Newton’s Loft testing her own strength and learning about gravity. Another exhibit we explored that was new to me because it was not around when I was a child is the sports zone. We all had so much fun. Quinn was able to race the Philly Phanatic, her older cousin and even me too. She worked on her jump shot, did some surfing and practiced her stance and baseball pitch.

I’m looking forward to many more visits to the Franklin Institute with Quinn to explore some of the exhibits we didn’t make it to during our the first time. I’m also excited to go back to the ones we thoroughly enjoyed not just during the summer but for months and years to come. If you’re in the Philadelphia, PA are and looking for a fun, family activity that promotes learning in the STEM area, the Franklin Institute is the perfect place.

All the best,

Tanya