Magpie Tales – July 27th – Mum’s Museum Visit


After all the hype and the excitement within our family all there was to see was a head in a yellow light. And not a real head at all. Rather a head with a fancy hat albeit an attractive one at that.

To say my mother was not impressed with my reaction to the mask is to put it mildly.

She uttered words like ‘thousands of years, history, once in a life time opportunity, appreciation, craftsmanship’ she went on about how I would fitted neatly into the Philistines who ransacked history and laid waste to so much.

I did appreciate the significance of the moment, she’d said enough in the hours before we left to give me some idea of the significance of the exhibition, and I did feel the sense of awe among the gathered throng who stood and gaped at the head, muttered words to each other, exclamations of wonder and there was even to occasional flash of a camera which to my enjoyment attracted the security guards who pointed to the large sign advising patrons not to photograph the Egyptian Queen. Why I couldn’t understand, as it was it was probably being exposed to more intense light than it had experienced for many centuries so it was not as if she was going to feel blinded by the constant flashing of cameras.

Ten minutes exhausted my attention span, I looked around for more interesting things to view. To my disappointment my mother insisted that I stand beside her while she read through the inscription. She read aloud as if implying I couldn’t read it myself and I was suddenly aware of many many eyes focused on us.

She finished with an exclamation I never going to forget:

‘Now wasn’t that well worth the price of admission. Aren’t you pleased you came?’

The question of course refocused all eyes on me. What was I to say? ‘No mum it was a crap experience.’ ‘Gee mum you read that so well and I am so much more informed than ever before.’

But no I sprouted something like: ‘Mum I can read you know.’

She looked at me, realising all eyes were on us, and made one of her statements she makes to cover embarrassment, ‘I was just helping you understand James. I’d love a cup of tea.’

With her hand in the small of my back we made a hasty exit, leaving the next wave of admirers to take our front spot.

Pushing me away I could hear her muttering to me and to herself: “Never again James you can stay ignorant for all I care.’

My mum never stayed angry for long. Over a cup of tea we planned our next historical foray. Mum poured over the museum program her eyes lit up as mine rolled as she stood gathering herself about to take on the Chinese bat exhibition.


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19 Responses to Magpie Tales – July 27th – Mum’s Museum Visit

  1. JackieP says:

    I like the mother, she loves history. But kids are never much for history lessons. Now me, I love museums. Always have, even when I was a kid. Well done Michael.

  2. C.C. says:

    This story is so easy to relate to…the way you have written it…it evokes similar experiences from one’s own life as either the mom or the kid.

  3. Realistic characters. It remind me of myself with my kids when we went to museums, zoos or and place with something to learn. My kids were never intrested.

  4. Kutamun says:

    Something about leading a Golden Ass to Water ??
    Well done

  5. Jinksy says:

    I have a rather back-handed compliment to pay. This was so well written, that the one or two typos stood out like sore thumbs! Typos are the bugbear of my life, too, I must admit. 🙂

  6. RoSy says:

    Later on that kid will appreciate that visit to the museum with his mom.

  7. Bastet says:

    I do so understand poor Mum … there is so much hype at times that one wonders what it’s all about. And I too have often asked myself … with all the harsh light etc, what’s the thing about taking photos, except of course, you wouldn’t buy their post cards then … hmmm makes sense.

  8. Dashing Metro says:

    I’ve known mothers like this. Nicely done.

  9. Lyn says:

    Poor James, he doesn’t realise how fortunate he is that his mother loves him enough to take him to museums. Let’s hope when he has kids he’ll be just like him Mum 🙂 First time I went to a museum was when I was about forty. It was the War Memorial Museum in Canberra. What moved me the most were the dioramas. There was one in particular, with a soldier sitting on a log in the mud, his head in his hands looking completely exhausted and lost. It stuck in my mind and I’ve never forgotten it.

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