The Circle of Life (in Provo)

I think Provo a glorious place. Not too long ago Carl and I had a long discussion in which he laughed a little at my insistence that Provo is a big city, nigh unto other big cities, that people know about and want to come to. I've grown up here, all my life. This fact has recently become strangely clear to me because Carl and I are moving to California in the fall, and when I tell people, I say, 'yeah, this will be my first time living outside of Provo.' What?! In my head I feel like a very diverse girl, and I suppose that I have lived in over 15 different houses in Provo, but it's true, I am a Provo girl through and through. Carl's parents and little brother came down from Portland this weekend for Remy's baby blessing and I felt a great sense of pride and eagerness to show them my city and where I've spent the last decade going to school.

Somehow, however, we ended up at the Bean Museum and Cafe Rio. For anyone not from Provo, the Bean museum is a special place where BYU's motto, The World is Our Campus, is really captured. And by captured, I mean, literally, then stuffed and displayed in all sorts of glass cases and groupings in the big museum room. There are hundreds of animals, birds, insects, and reptiles, real ones, mind you, all staring down at you. I think that every Provo kid grew up going to the Bean Museum, and I think all those same kids still honestly believe the boa constrictor that the lady brings out for the reptile show is the same one we petted back when we were in the first grade. My thoughts on the Bean Museum have changed a bit since I was wee and it was strictly a place of magic, it now seems a little strange/sad to me that all of these animals were killed by one man and then shipped from their home into a 70's looking building in the middle of Provo, Utah. But then I think about all the kids that know of/love/learn about animals because of this place. Anyway, regardless, I found myself telling Carl's brother and parents how cool the museum is, and how they were going to love it, and at the same time in my head I was thinking that maybe Provo isn't such a big time city as I thought.

We happened to be at the museum with two bus-loads of alzheimer's senior citizens. It was awesome. I felt like the circle of life was being completed before my very eyes as we toted Remy around the displays of once-frolicking animals, and dodged wheelchairs and walkers at the same time. The old people were adorable, and it made me want to work with older people again. One man with the wispiest white hair said about every two minutes, "so you're telling me that BYU put all this together? The foresight they must have had, this is wonderful." I remember at one point on the top floor, near the Elk and dik-dik display, we got stuck behind a long and slow-moving line of oldies. I didn't mind a bit. What a proud moment for me to show my in-laws the city that raised me.

Perhaps though, my favorite thing of the whole venture was when i was sitting near the stick bug case nursing Remy on a bench and an older lady, (I don't think she was with the alzheimer's crowd) came up to Carl and said in a loud whisper, "Good for you for letting her do that in public and for getting out of the house with such a little baby." She seemed genuinely very happy for us that we were out on the town, and nursing in public to boot. She told Carl that it was so nice of him to take me out of the house. She said it was refreshing and encouraging because in her day, women who had babies, just didn't get out of the house. Hooray for husbands and a culture that wants new moms to not hide out in their houses and nurse in bedrooms by themselves. Also, hooray for Provo and the awesomeness it provided for me and my in-laws.


Jim/Blog said...

I agree, provo is a great place. I haven't been to the bean museum since I was a little kid visiting provo with my family. I guess I'll have to go back now.

Club Narwhal said...

provo is where it's AT! remy is a gorgeous little bug, by the way :)

Cait said...

I must say, I was kind of nervous (maybe only a very little bit) to breastfeed in public because I was nervous about negative stares or comments. I've only been praised, thumbs-upped, and smiled at! Maybe I'm making some people feel awkward or think it's weird, but I don't think too many.

Little Lisa said...

Hear hear!! I rarely see nursing mothers here, let alone pregnant women. Yet for some reason, most stores have exclusive parking for pregnant women. Also, Provo is way cooler than any place I've been in the fourth largest city in the nation/aka my home, Houston, Texas. Just the fact you can drive from one side to the other in 15-20 minutes is good enough for me. Takes me that long to go a mile here!