Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Celebrating T's Birthday

Yesterday, March 25, was T's 13th birthday. I can't believe that my Boyo is a teenager! Anyway, we had a busy and fun day as we celebrated his entrance into the teen years.

Before we left, T opened his birthday gifts from the family after enjoying gluten-free pancakes topped with butter and fruit preserves.

Then we drove 50 miles to downtown San Diego where we were meeting some other homeschoolers for a special workshop at the San Diego Museum of Art. As the museum facade was undergoing renovation (as was the California Tower), I photographed the Botanical Garden next to the art museum. It was the loveliest of days, with temperatures in the mid to high 70's and just a few white clouds scudding across the blue skies.

At ten o'clock we met with our docent, Margie (Mar-gee), who took us upstairs into the European portrait gallery for a lesson on portraiture. First she discussed what we can learn from a portrait as far as details about age, level of society, time period, etc., of the subject. Then she led us to several other portraits throughout the museum, from portraits of an 18th century queen, to one of a young Hispanic girl in the 1950's, to some Chinese nobles of the 16th century, to a modern computer-generated infospecialist supposedly in 2030 when libraries are a thing of the past (Books were made into furniture that we sat upon as part of the "experience."). Then we went back upstairs, and the students drew their own portraits, either self-portraits or portraits based upon the art they had viewed today.

We also explored other parts of the portrait gallery and of the museum as a whole until we went outside to picnic with the other homeschooling families in front of the botanical gardens where the boys played Capture the Flag after we ate. (Actually, it was "Capture the Flip Flop" as they didn't have a flag.) They were all well-exhausted after playing for almost an hour, but we could easily check PE off for the day.

After the art museum trip and lunch in Balboa Park, we hopped into the car and drove a few blocks down Park Blvd. to the San Diego Zoo, our traditional birthday destination. The zoo was incredibly crowded as many kids were still on spring break, and it took us 20 minutes to locate a parking place in the completely full lot. It was so crowded inside the zoo that the kids found it difficult to navigate my wheelchair through all the people. We spenjt most of our time in the Children's Zoo where T himself took the above photo of his favorite zoo animal: the otter.

We tried to get through the front part of the zoo where we passed by these lovely flamingos, but it was still so very crowded that we instead explored the reptile and gharial areas behind the reptile house (in which we had NO hope of getting close to the window displays of snakes and lizards with my wheelchair as it was packed with people).

We gave up on the zoo after just a couple of hours: it was hot (we all were a little sunburned) and crowded, and the kids were very tired after our museum trip and their strenuous game on the lawns of the park. So we drove home, making stops at the chiropractor, Trader Joe's, Keith's office for water bottle refills and bathroom breaks, and finally the gas station to refill Molly, our Corolla. The kids and I settled in to watch T's new Indiana Jones movies (the four-pack DVDs with the three films and a bonus disc of special features), and Keith ordered in pizza, a real treat that we only indulge in for the boys' birthdays. After watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, we enjoyed rootbeer floats and sang "Happy Birthday" to our new teenager. He said that he had a wonderful birthday, and I'm glad he had a great time, despite the zoo not being as fun as usual.

So Happy Birthday, T! You are one special young man, and we love you dearly, Boyo!

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