Saturday, April 25, 2009

Take Your Daughter to Work in the City

On Thursday, I was at a conference downtown with a friend of mine, who also has small children, lamenting that I was not going to be able to participate in Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day this year on account of the conference. The conference took place at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and, as the host cheerfully informed us that the museum was kind enough to allow us to tour the exhibits while we were in attendance, it dawned on me that perhaps the conference wouldn't prevent me from taking part in Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day after all. Or, at least Take Your Daughter to Work Day: two would be too hard to shuttle around, but one would be doable, especially one who so enjoys downtown adventures with her Dada.

Sure enough, during the lunch break, I took the subway back into University City and headed to our day care. It was the middle of their nap time, but no matter: I poked Jada awake, and, though she had been dead asleep just seconds ago, popped to attention when I asked her, "Do you want to go downtown with Dada to see a special museum?" Within minutes, we were back downtown and en route to the Academy of Natural Sciences.

It didn't take long for Jada to rub away her sleepy eyes and replace them with the wide eyes of someone who is getting to do something special instead being "stuck in school." We went first to the auditorium so I could show her where I was that day and so she could see what a conference looked like. But quickly, we made our way from the adult stuff to the kid stuff; and, with dinosaur exhibits, animal exhibits, and butterfly exhibits, there was more than enough to pass almost an hour even at a pretty rapid clip.

I figured at that point I should get her back to school and me back to my conference. But when we exited the building and she saw the Comcast Center, Philadelphia's tallest building, nearby, and asked about it, I offered to take her inside. So sure enough, we headed that way, went inside, and from there took the underground concourse to the subway station to take us back to University City.

While on the subway, another thought came to mind. I had stopped in on a friend's conference at the Cira Centre earlier that morning, and thought it might be fun for Jada to get a peek at that gathering as well. So we got off two stops before her school, walked through 30th Street Station to the Cira Centre, and made our way to the meeting room. Two City Council members (pictured above: Blondell Reynolds Brown and Curtis Jones) who I have worked with in the past were right outside the meeting room, getting ready to present on the next panel, but took the time to meet Jada, which I greatly appreciated.

At this point, it really was time for Jada and I to stop playing hooky and get back to where we should be. So it was a quick ride on the subway to get her back to school, and another quick ride for me to get back to my conference.

Not all my work days are as fun or as packed as that day's. But some are; so it wasn't a bad representation for her to take part in, to see what mothers' and fathers' work days are like.
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