You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
– Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. I have driven past his town many times, sometimes looking up at the rear-view mirror to see if I can take that exit on a sudden whim, take a little detour if you will. But I never did. Until last month, when we gave in to the demands of a four-month old and took the interstate to avoid red-lights and stop signs. The speed-fest helped him doze off and seeing that we had some time to explore, we decided to go to the The Springfield Museums.
One $12 ticket will gain you entry to all five museums – the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum (it was closed that day) and the Museum of Springfield History. The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is free but could do with a little upkeep.
The history museum had vintage cars (looking to establish a plant in US, Rolls-Royce chose Springfield due to the availability of a large number of skilled craftsmen), Indian motorcycles ( a worthy competition to the Harley-Davidsons), planes, guns, bicycles, unicycles, an old-fashioned gas pump, a game room for kids, and an entire room dedicated to the life and work of Dr. Seuss. A lot of information in a not too large space, so it’s easily do-able if you are on a tight schedule like us.
The science museum is kid-friendly with animals and hands-on exhibits, and I am happy to say that the little guy woke up in time to see his first bearded dragon, and his first turtle. It was a day of firsts for him. It was his first day-long trip, his first museum, and his first Dr.Seuss book. We will wait for his birthday to give him “Happy Birthday To You” and the nursery staple “Green Eggs and Ham” can wait a while too. But “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” has to be a part of his crinkly, board-bound and made-for-chewing library.
Of course, the moment we gave him the book, he tried his best to eat it, that being his first reaction to anything from toys to gadgets to actual food. Well, the book is not meant for stubby little fingers of a four-month-old, but the story is so much fun and the message is so beautiful. When I read out the verses to him, his eyes light up and his mouth widens into an adorable toothless grin. I know it’s the rhyming which does the trick , but I like to think that he smiles because he likes the story and imagines himself on a wild Seussian adventure where there is fun to be done and games to be won.