Friday, February 3, 2012


En route to the La Habra Children’s Museum, we sang Needles & Pins at the top of our lungs - Pete in an exaggerated bravado and I in all sincerity. Through the windshield mirror, I could see the face of my little niece, who wore the look of calm contentment. She wrapped our voices around her tiny shoulders and grinned ever so slightly.

The Children’s museum was smaller than I had anticipated, but my niece was enraptured immediately. She ping ponged from room to room, and we followed close behind. In the dress up room, she donned a burgundy velvet gown fit for a queen and strutted across the velvet-curtained stage with the same cocky swagger that my younger sister had when she was five years old.

In an indoor tree house, Anna met a seven year old boy named Paul. Poor little fool, he feel for her immediately. They lost track of each other for about 10 minutes and when they met up again on the bus (donated by the Orange County Transportation Authority) he said “You were there, and then you were gone, and I looked all over for you, and now we are together again.” They shared the driver’s seat, charging oncoming passengers $22.09. Pete and I sat in the back of the bus (which was shortened so as to fit in the room) with the other tired adults. I watched Anna & Paul interact through the windshield mirror. Then I saw Anna’s little hand lightly slap Paul’s face. I got up immediately from the backseat, made her apologize, and then told her she had to get off the bus. “But she didn’t mean anything by it; it didn’t hurt, Paul pleaded as we exited the bus.

Their next encounter was in the craft room where Anna was constructing a face from yarn, construction paper, a paper plate and crayons. The face was looking good until she started coloring the face black & and her creation started to look like a bearded lady. Pete added to the monstrosity by cutting hair from his mustache & glueing it to the face. Paul came over and saw the beard with real hair and held his mouth so as not to gasp aloud. The he giggled. Anna was disturbed. “Hi”, Anna said excitedly to Paul.” Ten minutes later her emotions swayed, “Why are you sitting at my table anyway?” I was so mortified, I can’t even remember if I even made her apologize. But Paul didn’t appear to be phased by Anna’s mood swings. They talked about their love for art, and then we had to get on our way.

On the car ride home, I said, “Well, that Paul sure was nice.” “Ya”,she sighed.

Outfit: vintage "love" dress (thrifted)

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