Have baby: Will travel...rocking and strolling
Yesterday morning after only a few minor catastrophes we managed to get out of the hotel and back on the road. Until the very last minute, no one peed on anything inappropriate (not even Don). Then while Don was getting the car loaded and after I tended to getting Mercer changed for the road, he peed all over his onesie and just a tiny little bit on the comforter. Woops. Luckily, in my opinion anyway, it was nothing a little warm water couldn't resolve.
Folks, I've got news for you. There is no KISS memorabilia at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I guess you probably knew that, but I didn't. In fact, apparently there is quite a little bit of controversy over KISS being allowed in since they are considered to be more about theatrics than the music.
I've heard Beth and thus I disagree. In other news, there is no photography allowed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This put a damper on things as I fully intended to take about 1000 pictures of the baby with various instruments and crazy outfits. Oh well.
To complicate things further we realized pretty early on we'd need to do something with our dog while we visited the museum. Like cameras, dogs were not allowed. Not even cut little wiener dogs. I had the bright idea to get the wiener dog groomed and pampered while we hit the museum, at a Petsmart a few miles away. So while Rasputin, our dachshund, got clipped, bathed and groomed we strolled around the museum in a state of awe.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a surprisingly emotional experience, and one worth the $20 per person admission (the baby was free). Having forgotten the baby bjorn we were afraid they wouldn't let us in with our stroller, which is pretty big (although not gargantuan like some of those strollers you see that take up the entire sidewalk). Everyone was more than accommodating with regard to our baby and the stroller was no issue at all since there were elevators to each floor.
In fact, many of the other tourists like ourselves brought their children. The overall experience, however, was appreciated by the adults, who are made to feel like kids in a candy store, or like me, who felt OLD, OLD, OLD, OLD O-L-D when looking at the section on music videos and how they changed music forever. Old. But also sort of young when faced with the awe-inspiring power of the Blues section, the Punk section and all of David Bowie's costumes.
Mercer obliged us by sleeping through the entire museum--all of it! Regardless of the facts that the place was teaming with people and there was--of course!--music playing in each section, Mercer remained snug in his infant carrier for the duration of our visit. It is quite possible that all the excitement was a tad overstimulating and resulted in him shutting down.
Either way he looked like a precious little angel. And, even though he wasn't fully aware of where we were or what we were doing, we believe he was impacted by the culture and will appreciate the trip later. And hopefully he'll think his parents were pretty cool. I say "were" because by the time he is old enough to understand the whole thing he'll think we're about as interesting as a box of hammers.
Once we left the museum we decided to troll downtown Cleveland on our way back to pick of the wiener dog. Cleveland is AWESOME. If I didn't live in New York and if my mother wouldn't be horribly offended if I moved to the Midwest and did not return to Louisville, I would totally live in Cleveland. It seems like a city that is just big enough to be a real city but hasn't fooled itself into thinking it is the metropolis of America. It also seems like a nice play to raise kids. Everywhere we went we saw people with their children, and they seemed fairly content.
I hated to leave the museum after only a few hours, but we had to get back on the road in order to get into Louisville at a reasonable hour. I also wanted to try to roll in to town while it was still light out as the last few legs of the journey weer, if memory served, a little tricky to navigate. We stopped at Starbucks again on the way out, where I listened to Willie Nelson sing about a Red Headed Stranger and thought about how music is such a constant in our lives even if we don't realize it, and then we were off and running again.
Once again the baby impressed and surprised us (as did the dog) by remaining calm, quiet and happy throughout most of the trip. The roads were nice and smooth and we didn't hit any more construction, thank Pete, so all of us were cool as cucumbers until about the last 30 miles of the trip. We were lost and the baby was rightfully screaming as he was tired and hungry and sick of being in the car. We all were. I finally realized, as we tried to backtrack to something familiar, that I'd lived outside of Louisville, my hometown, where I spent eighteen years, that I no longer knew my way around.
Like everything else, Louisville has also grown and changed so much that I hardly recognize much of it anymore. In a similar vein, my mother, who misses me so much because she knows I am probably never going to move back, seems to already miss my son before our visit together has even gotten of the ground. A friend of hers with two young grandchildren laments that since her grand kids live in California and she only sees them once a year she has to reintroduce herself to them every time. They just don't remember her. Given that I can barely remember how to get to my house I am starting to understand that sentiment.
When we finally pulled in to my parents' driveway it was just before 9:00. We managed to get in just under the wire. We met my parents in the driveway and everything suddenly felt like it was going to be all right.
Nothing was funnier than the fact that even though we tried to keep with our feeding and sleeping schedule, the baby was so exhilarated by all the new sights, sounds and people (and dogs) he couldn't stop smiling long enough to take a bottle and go to sleep. He couldn't stop smiling at my mother, who couldn't stop smiling back at him. Looking at the two of them together, I don't think my son will forget her. Already they share that bond that knows no words, and doesn't need any.