Icebergs at the National Building Museum — Balancing Fun with Structure

Parents can put a lot of pressure on themselves to do cool and great things with your kids – the little ones grow up so fast… you should cherish these days… you can have such a big impact on children at this young stage… Especially after leaving the corporate world, I felt like I really needed to maximize my time with the kids.

But then reality comes along. My reality was challenges that come with a new developmental stage, time constraints from various camp and activity schedules, sheer exhaustion from those camp-free days at the end of summer, and work. For the latter, I picked up some contract work with my old firm, in addition to my photography biz. As a result my time with the kids is more limited, and I place more importance on it. But that doesn’t mean I use it for all amazing, memory-making adventures. Instead — to the first point about developmental stages — my time with them is more critically used to build structure, ensure routines are in place, and hold firm on disciplinary threats. Pretty exciting for a four and two year old, eh???

The other morning I decided it was time put reality aside, be a fun mom, and take the kids out for pure wonder and fun. The National Building Museum is becoming well known for its Summer Block Party Series, and this year’s Icebergs was another solid hit with families.

Icebergs - 1

Icebergs - 2

Honestly, as an adult, I thought the exhibit looked more impressive in photos than in person — I thought the forms’ raw wood framing (see first pic below) distracted from the vastness I envision with icebergs. But it was still cool to see the show in person, and the kids loved it. Not pictured: a double slide, the stairs going up to view the icebergs from ‘above the water’, the massive open space filled with pillows, and the ice cream stand. Which, yes, I treated them to at 11:00 a.m. Was I using ice cream to gain their affection? Maybe. But when they’ve been good from the moment you walked in the museum, I say they earned it. And I loved seeing them so happy.

Iceberg - 3

Another thing that was cool to me was watching how the light changed across the time we were there. I loved the cool, chilling blue when we first entered at opening time. As the sun rose and more light came directly into the building, the atrium light became so much warmer, and the forms changed subtly across the hour and as we changed vantage points. That part did mimic real ice resting in water quite well.

Icebergs - 4

Icebergs - 5

Icebergs - 6

Icebergs - 14

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Icebergs - 9

I can’t help but include an outtake or two of this little ham. Why not hug an iceberg?

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