I sit alone on the bench. Alone, yet surrounded by so many. It’s a cold, winter day -perfect for a museum visit. Museums provide such an opportunity for learning. Some lessons are about how the world works, some are about how people used to live, some are about scientific advances. Others are about human nature. I’m watching and learning- people watching that is.

The mother feeding her infant. She’s tired, her mind is in a different place. She can’t remember when she slept through the night.

The dad who keeps checking his phone and his son who is desperately seeking his attention. He yearns to show him all the cool things he can do.

The women experimenting with the cone that has a strong gust of air blowing through it. Her goal is to keep 2 plastic balls up in the air at a time, but one keeps falling. She tries for awhile then walks away. She comes back and fails again at her task. She walks away and returns again with a new technique- this time succeeding!

The dad helping his 2 year old daughter get only the orange balls out of the water to send into the air tunnel. He’s reaching over the pool of water to get every last orange ball, getting pretty wet in the process, but sees her eyes sparkle and hears the squeal of excitement that only a 2 year old can do each time he hands her another beloved orange ball.

I see them. They become part of my life for a few seconds. I feel the tiredness, the distractedness, the playfulness and determination, and the joy of these people before abandoning my bench , ignoring my tired feet that have not become accustomed to my pregnancy weight, to experience with my family.