24 November 2008

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I like that it is secular and based on food and family. Food and family! Two of my favorite things, if not my two favorite things. I also like that, all things considered, it's pretty non-commercial. And I like that it's a time to focus on the things I have in my life for which I am thankful. There are many such things, and it's good to be reminded of them, especially while eating good food in the presence of family.

John and I always spent Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine, even though I would have preferred to do the reverse. John worked in the schools, so he couldn't really take extra time off at Thanksgiving, and the Boston-Oregon trip, while doable over a four-day weekend, is much better done over the 10-or-so-day Christmas holiday. Detroit is an easy two-hour flight from Boston, and we got in the habit of skipping the crowds and just flying out there on Thanksgiving morning, arriving in plenty of time for dinner. Not only was Detroit for Thanksgiving/Oregon for Christmas logistically easier, but John and I got engaged in Detroit the day after Thanksgiving the first time we spent the holiday there, so it always had special meaning to go back. I still would have preferred to go to Oregon, but being married involves making some compromises, and logically what we did made the most sense by far.

Last year, I was daunted by the idea of going to see John's family for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law, with whom I have a very good, close relationship, had already decided that being home for the holiday would be too painful for her and had booked a trip to a tropical clime. I just couldn't stomach the idea of the flights with two eighteen-month-olds and a long weekend filled with bittersweet memories and depressed family. I stayed home with the kids and spent the holiday with a friend and her family. It was fine, even fun at times, but hard: first Thanksgiving without John, being away from family, thinking about my engagement four years prior, etc. 

This year, I felt ready to travel. I suppose I could have taken the whole week of Thanksgiving off and gone to Oregon as I'm no longer bound to the school schedule. But. My daycare does close for an entire week at Christmas, so once again it makes more logistical sense to travel the longer distance when it comes time to deck the halls. As I pondered my Thanksgiving options, I decided to go ahead and go to Detroit.

My relationship with my in-laws is complicated. They love me, and I love them, that's never been questioned. But we have personal and cultural differences which often clashed during John's illness. I felt like they were trying to control John's and my life; they felt like I had taken their son away. Makes for a lot of bad blood on both sides. At this point in our relationship, we've reached a stage where we maintain minimal contact and try not to step on each others' toes. I think my mother-in-law and father-in-law both worry about doing something that would anger me to the point of not letting them see the twins again. I can't imagine what they could do that would make me do that, but given some of the blow-outs we've had in the past, I can understand their fears.

We're in an really awkward situation. If Maddie and Riley weren't in the picture, I'm not sure I'd ever talk to or see my mother- and father-in-law. It's so painful for us to interact. I'd like to think that we will someday get to a place where it's healing for us to be together, but 1.5 years out, mostly it still just hurts. But they are Maddie and Riley's grandparents, and that is a relationship I want to honor. This is not about me, it's about the twins. Not only do M&R deserve to have a relationship with John's parents just because they are John's parents, they deserve to have a connection to their Korean heritage. I am prepared to do what I can to teach the twins to be proud of their Korean-ness, but I don't know what it's like to grow up Asian in the United States. I don't speak Korean. I don't know a whole lot about Korean customs. I'm just not Korean. And John's parents are. I want Maddie and Riley to benefit from that, as well as from the unconditional love and joy that grandparents can have for their grandchildren.

And so we will go to Detroit. John's parents to visit us in Boston from time to time, but that's our home turf. They don't feel as free to relax with the twins in our house as they do in their own. And, frankly, I recognize that I can be very controlling when we're at our house. I want things done our way in our home. When we're at halmi and hatchi's, it's easier for me to let my guard down and allow things to be done their way. The twins deserve that.

If I can let go a little, I think we'll have a great time. I know my in-laws have stocked the house with toys and gifts for the kids and that the kitchen cabinets are filled with Maddie and Riley's favorite snacks. There will be no shortage of loving, capable hands to help with childcare, so if I want to get out for a run or a coffee or a trip to the mall, I can do that. I just have to be willing to let go a little, which will be a good lesson for me. I'm friends with some of John's high school and college friends in greater Detroit, and I'm hoping to spend some time with them, both with and without kids. My mother-in-law is a fantastic cook and I'm eager to fill up on Korean cooking. I look forward to some quality time with my siblings-in-law. And my awesome dad will be staying at a hotel down the road, so we'll even get some time with Ba.

The one thing I'm quite worried about is the possibility that John's family will want to visit John's gravesite.  When John died, he was cremated and his ashes were split between me and his parents. That in and of itself was one of the most traumatic decisions about John's death. John's family had his ashes buried at a cemetery in a very traditional ceremony. They visit the plot weekly, and for them that is a very important ritual. I have no interest in going to the cemetery. I don't feel so negatively about it that I would cause a scene in order to not go, but I'm hoping that it's something we can avoid doing. If I have to go, I have to go. If it's that important to John's parents, I'll do it. I'm a big girl. But I'd really rather not go. If we do go, I'm planning to tell the twins that we're going to a park to think about Daddy. I hope we can keep the explanation they get to that minimum. I don't feel that they need to know any more than that for now.

I think it will be a good Thanksgiving. We won't have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and I'm sure there will be ups and downs to the trip and to the interactions I have with my family. But in the spirit of the holiday, I hope to focus on the ups.

****************************
Any readers out there who live in greater Detroit? If so, do you have any ideas about kid-friendly activities we could do over the weekend? We just went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which was a big hit; anything like that? Indoor play spaces? Other ideas? John's family lives in Bloomfield Hills. Any input appreciated.

52 comments:

hudson6803 said...

I've never been around the holidays, but we used to go with school when I was younger:
http://www.hfmgv.org/events/holidayNights.aspx
(Greenfield Village). It is outdoors, so it will be pretty cold. I live in the very southeastern most part of the state, so I mostly spend time in Ohio - that is my only suggestion.

Watercolor said...

Hugs. I hope you have a good relaxing time. Perhaps his mom could teach you to cook a few korean things? Would that feel appropriate to ask? And might build a bridge? In any event, traveling mercies to you all.

hudson6803 said...

Ack! Bad advice. Apparently their holiday festivities don't begin until December. But, the museum attached starts the day after Thanksgiving - http://www.thehenryford.org/events/holidaysMuseum.aspx

Kizz said...

Melissa Summers of Suburban Bliss lives in Detroit, so do Dutch & Wood of Sweet Juniper. Maybe you could ask them about good things to do.

Susan said...

Snick - Henry Ford Museum would be fun and room to run....I highly recommend the Detroit Science Center. You can google it. Lots of hands on stuff. Depending on weather - and it is cold right now - Detroit Zoo is very nice. Bundle up and just run around for an hour or so. I live 30 minutes north of Detroit. I will think some more.....my kids are teens now :)

Nancy said...

I really admire your ability to recognize all of your feelings about - well - any situation, so it would seem. And your willingness to share.

I like Watercolor's idea of asking about cooking...And what about a few Korean words to teach the kids? (And you ;) )

Melissa said...

Snick, at some point during the holiday season you may actually be able to unmask the person who has been posting anonymous tirades against your return to the dating world... I have a feeling this person is a member of John's family. Or maybe that individual will have the courage to speak with you directly?

Safe and happy travels,
Hugs,
m

Melissa in TN said...

I admire you for being so mature about the situation. I don't know that I could be that "grown up" with my in-laws.

Good for you and Maddie and Riley. I hope you have a wonderful time.

Anonymous said...

Just want to eighth the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village suggestion. I'm sure there's a paint your own pottery place/indoor playground around, too. There's also a great Hands On Museum in Ann Arbor if you get that way at all.

Leslie

Anonymous said...

I hope you know that it won't always be so painful to visit/talk to your in-laws. At some point you will feel the pain of your loss settle in your heart, to a place where it will always rest but won't stir anymore, a place called acceptance. Then the pain visiting the in-laws will subside. The same goes for the in-laws; once they find acceptance, they won't have a problem with your dating, if in fact it is an in-law who is the Anon having problems and posting nasty.
(I'm not "that" Anon. but am just a blog reader & long ago widow who came along thru the CNN article.)

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of John's from HS and have followed your blog since reading about it on CNN.com. Anywho, the bat exhibit at Cranbrook Science Museum is fabulous. My 5 year old has enjoyed it three times since he was 3. I would also recommend Henry Ford like a pp, especially since they'll have the big model train displayed for the holidays. Have fun!
Caryn

Crash Course Widow said...

It's only in hindsight right now that I realized that Thanksgiving has actually been one of the hardest holidays for me as a widow. I've always loved Christmas, and other than that first one after Charley died (which was understandably hard), they've been okay...good even, at times. But it's largely because I just focus on Anna and the fun of having a kid at Christmastime, and all the extra events that happen in December give me a bigger distraction and things to do. But Thanksgiving? Oy. Last year was awful, and until I reread all those journal entries of mine last week, I'd forgotten just how painful each one was the past 3 years.

Maintaining married traditions and relations with your in-laws when you're no longer married is an odd conundrum. I have a fabulous relationship with Charley's parents, which has created its own amazing benefits, as well as some burdens--particularly in the 1st and 2nd year. I maintained most of those traditions the first year after Charley died, because I *wanted* to and because I needed to be around people who missed him as much as I did. And it helped me to be around them more that first year. But after that, it just got harder to be around them at holidays. I wasn't numb and in shock anymore, and I found--like you did last year at Thanksgiving--that I did better when I stuck closer to home or else did my own thing. So now I actually rarely (translation: haven't done it at all after the first year) do the holidays with my in-laws anymore. I'll go down to GP to see them before or after Christmas, but I have no desire thus far to go down for Thanksgiving...but we'll see what the future years will hold....

Hope the trip goes smoothly and well this year!

Anonymous said...

Those comments on the last post were so strange. I'm glad you are just back at it, writing and sharing. I hit bottom last week, too, and seem to have moved on this week, hopefully at a slightly new level of awareness. It happens.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. It sounds like you are successfully looking at the positive aspects of your MIL and FIL, your relationship with them, and most of all the very special love and connection between them and the twins.

It is too bad that some of their keeping themselves in check with you is no doubt motivated by fear of not seeing the twins, but such is life with in laws. Kudos for getting that the twins deserve to know their grandparents on their grandparents' turf, where they can relax and be more themselves.

Have fun!

Leah said...

hi--i'm a high school friend of john's--my boyfriend and i came to the memorial in boston, if you remember. i would throw in that taking a little trip to the Franklin Cider Mill is fun (my family always does it at Thanksgiving!)--not only can you get super yummy cider and donuts, but the kids would maybe get a kick out of feeding the ducks in the creek.

Grekrs said...

I live a bit north of BH in Michigan and I have a four year old and twin two year olds. Some of the activities I suggest involve a bit of driving, but most things do in SE MI. First, the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum is a great place to go with kids (www.aahom.org), plus Ann Arbor is a great town to walk in and the food is fabulous. Walk a few blocks and get a sandwich with the kids at Zingermanns (I recommend the "Gemini Rocks the House"- Fresh motz, toms and homemade pesto on farm bread. YUM. I am getting hungry). I think the trip is well worth the drive. There is an indoor play area that I know of in Lake Orion on Lapeer Rd (24) called Gigglebeans that the kids would like. The zoo is just OK as far as zoos go, but the polar bear exhibit is good and if you drive to Ferndale afterward you can eat at the Blue Nile which has FABULOUS ethiopian food (and the kiddies eat free). You can't find Ethiopian food everywhere, so it would be a nice experience for you and the kids. The Henry Ford Museum is really nice, but a bit expensive. I would save that for better weather a hit the Greenfield Village (its outdoor counterpart) on another, non-winter visit. Same with the Huckleberry Railroad just outside of Flint. Also, check with the BH fire dept and see if you could bring the kids down to see the fire trucks and meet the firemen. They are usually open to it, barring any emergencies. And check out the story times at the BH library. Finally, if all else fails, you can always find a bowling alley in MI. The kids could take turns rolling the ball down the alley. Mine seem to like that, though I cannot fgure out why. I hope this helps! If you ever come to MI during warmer seasons mention it on your blog. There is SO MUCH more to do in good weather. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Detroit lurker...(sorry) I found your site just after John passed away...from some link. I immediatley took to your humor, style and honesty, so please excuse the anon (I see all the lurker hate on blogger)

You must go to Cranbrook! To this day it is THE favorite field trip I had as a child, as well as my kids favorite today.

Rachel said...

I know it's hard with the inlaws, but you are doing the right thing. I hope the visit goes as smoothly as possible.

About the grave site, I know this is a painful issue for you. But keep in mind that honoring the dead by visiting the grave is very important in Korean culture.

May you all have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Roads said...

Thought-provoking stuff.

Ashes and cemeteries -- having just posted about those I agree with you entirely that they might have been best avoided, but you have to go with the flow.

Despite the comment from one of your Anons (do they have any idea?) I'm not sure that the in-laws problems get much easier over time. It's not easy, but I suspect this is just one of those hard and emotionally exhausting things that simply comes with the territory in nearly every case.

Finally, if you're making the effort to fly to Chicago, and no matter how much you might feel desperate to escape the house, try to grin and bear it rather than running off to a museum. I know how hard it is to do, but sticking around their place is probably the best chance for your in-laws really to get to know your kids on their own terms.

It's only four days. And after that you can really look forward to Christmas.

Kind regards from London. And spirits up, as best you can. You're doing great. Honest you are.

Olivia said...

another vote for the hands on museum in ann arbor. also, there's a great play area in the 12 oaks mall in novi -- i'm actually headed there on wednesday to meet up with some friends and their kiddos. :) it also happens to be a fabulous mall... enjoy your thanksgiving, snick.

Judith said...

I hope you have a good time. To reinforce your decision, I want to share my experience: the greatest gift my mother ever gave was allowing me to have the best relationship with my paternal grandmother. I adored my grandmother and it wasn't until I became an adult that I realized that she was the biggest bitch EVER. My mother never let on, though, and even to this day when I comment and thank her she only smiles.

Your kids will appreciate any sacrifice/biting of the tongue you have to make.

Karen said...

I think you are a good person - a good wife and mother - for going so far to maintain a relationship between the kids and John's parents.

secretlysupergirl said...

Detroiter here...how about the Detroit Science Center? There's interactive stuff the kids can play with and get into.

Since I don't have kids, that's really all that comes to mind, but if you get the chance to get away from the kids and meet up with friends and what-not, I can recommend lots of places! Downtown Detroit has outdoor ice-skating and some really great bars/restaurants that have popped up in the last couple years. If you're looking for ideas, check out www.insidedetroit.org. Their web site is stocked with downtown info., or you can call with questions and such. I know the owners and they just love talking up Detroit and showing people all the city has to offer! They might even have some good kid-friendly ideas :-)

Jessika said...

Oooh, Detroiter here! The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is FANTASTIC - I have brought many groups of kids there and they have thoroughly enjoyed it. Same with the Detroit Science Center, both indoors things.

tree town gal said...

And if you find yourself in Ann Arbor at Hands On Museum, there is a Sunday concert at the Ark with the fabulous children's singers Gemini (for whom the sandwich at Zingermans is named). It's a fun, energetic and inexpensive concert that benefits the children's hospital. Agree with all the other suggestions: Cranbrook, The Henry Ford, Detroit Zoo (great polar bear exhibit). Safe travels.

Anonymous said...

You know, Snick, GOOD FOR YOU. You're doing the right thing, the best thing, for your kids and your in-laws. I'm really proud of you. I hope you have the best time possible under the circumstances.

Shelley

Anne said...

I grew up in Ann Arbor. I'd recommend the Henry Ford Museum. Greenfield Village is neat too but it may be too cold. We took my son who is now 10, to HFM when he was about 2 and he loved looking at all the big locomotives. I would also recommend the Ann Arbor hands on museum and the U of M Natural history museum.

Anonymous said...

When my husband was alive, I always felt that my mother-in-law and I were competing for my husband's attention. After he died, we actually became better friends. I also worked very hard to continue a relationship with my in-laws and every time I would get frustrated with them I would just say to myself..."What would I want my husband to do regarding my parents if the situation was reversed and I was the one that died?" Whenever I thought about that it was so much easier to make the effort to include them in my childrens' lives. I'm sure they had a hard time when I remarried but they included my stepchildren in their lives. Both of my inlaws are dead now and I miss them terribly. One more contact with my husband that's no longer there.
Nancy

winecat said...

I think you are doing a wonderful thing for M & R and John's parents. And a brave thing for yourself. I'm sure it's going to be difficult at times but as you said, if you can relax a little all of you will get the benefit. Maybe even a little joy.

I love the idea of asking John's mom to teach you to cook. You've said before that you love Korean food. Think of what sharing Daddy's favorite dishes would mean to M & R.

Good traveling karma to all three of you. Happy Thanksgiving

Amy said...

The twins may be too young to get much out of it yet but I *loved* the "Streets of Old Detroit" at the Detroit Historical Museum when I was a kid.

Donn24g said...

Great attitude, Snick. YOu deserve a good week, and it all starts with optimism and frame of mind.

Anonymous said...

Another Detroiter here chiming in - while Henry Ford/Greenfield Village is a fabulous place, I think the twins are a little young. Cranbrook is so close (its in Bloomfield Hills) and the Detroit Zoo is close, too. Also, the Santa (I know, a little commercial) at the Sommerset Collection in Troy is fabulous and the Christmas decorations are worth a look.

Also, I agree with everyone's comments regarding AnnArbor Hands on and the Detroit Science Center.

Enjoy your visit!

Anne said...

I'm in Toledo (about 45 minutes away from Detroit airport) and the Toledo Zoo is fantastic! Right now they are doing their festival of Lights, so coming at night would be great.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I'll be thinking of you over the holiday. Take advantage of the childcare to do something nice for yourself-- and to get the break from EVERYONE. Good luck!

~ Jolene said...

Have a relaxing trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving with the kids and your in-laws.

Lori said...

For what it's worth I think it's really big of you to go there for Thanksgiving. As you just explained, while it is the simpler trip it's more complicated than a trip to Oregon or just to a friends house. It would be hard- letting your son go and not just because of marriage. But you are doing the right thing. And no matter what feelings that you and the in laws have for each other- you both know wholeheartedly that there is nothing but love for the twins.

Suzy said...

http://www.junglejavaplay.com/
Jungle Java is one of those pay to play indoor playscapes. Fun times!
http://science.cranbrook.edu/
Very family friendly!
http://www.wblib.org/VISIT.php
http://www.sfldlib.org/
A couple of nearby libraries with great children's sections!
http://www.detroitzoo.org/
The animals like to come out in the cold, bundle up the kids and you'll have a great time!

The Henry Ford would be fun as well. At the village you can buy wrist bands that will get you on all of the rides for about $10 (the kids will be free).

http://www.thesomersetcollection.com/section.asp?categoryID=7&sectionID=7
Apparently, the Santa here is really special. You book appointments and get escorted into a castle to see the big man. Once you do, they give you three silver coins that you can turn in for prizes at select stores. It is free unless you want to have a picture made.

Happy travels!

django's mommy said...

You have a lot of Detroit readers!!

You are definitely doing the right thing by going to Detroit (or maybe I'm just saying that to pat myself on the back for going to Alabama for Christmas every year). ;) Like you, I think it is SO important for my son to have an active and loving relationship with his grandparents, and that drives a lot of my decisions.

I hope you have easy travel and that you are able to 'let go' somewhat, enjoy the free child care and let John's parents enjoy their grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

This post was really timely for me. I'm about to spend the holiday with my in-laws. There are a lot of cultural differences between us that prevent us from becoming close. One member of my husband's family in particular drives me crazy, and has for the nearly 20 years I've been his son's s.o. Your approach is so selfless and rational and mature. I pray to have some of that grace this holiday. -victoria

FingKASIL said...

You embody empathy, Snick. Always able to see things from someone else's perspective and feel their feelings. What a wonderful quality. Your children will admire and respect you for the generosity of heart that you are showing through these actions. And take them up on the babysitting. A little pedicure goes a long way.

Anonymous said...

I live in Ann Arbor--the Hands-On Museum is supposed to be pretty great(I don't have kids but I teach 2nd grade religious school so I hear a lot about it). Also, I don't know if M&R are old enough for these, but there's a place here called Jump City http://www.jump-city.com/ that has lots of inflatable castles and such. And my students LOVE a place called the Scrap Box where you can get lots of craft materials and make projects out of recycled materials. http://www.scrapbox.org/ It looks like it might be closed when you're here, though.

Grekrs said...

Wow. The Detroiters are really coming through... After some consideration, I do agree with anon that The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village (if the village is even open in the winter) may be more appropriate for Maddie and Riley when they are a couple of years older. I would also research the Detroit Science Center online. It too might be a little much for such little ones, but definitely a great place to go in a couple of years. All kids are different, but my two year olds were not able to appreciate those stops as much as my 4 yo and my 6 and 9 yo nephews.

Anonymous said...

We were in Detroit this summer. My twin daughters, 6 years old, and 2 year old son loved the Hands On Museum in Ann Arbor. We also had lunch at Zingerman's. They have delicious sandwiches and nice choices for kids, too. It is an easy walk to the museum.
We are from Boston, too, and got in free using our Museum of Science or Children's museum passes.
If you are ever interested in talking with other moms of multiples who have lost a spouse, I can put you in touch with some people in the Boston area. You can contact Pam Pace or Annie Spitz at Keeping Pace with Multiple Miracles at 508-559-0040.(www.keepingpace.org) .
All the best,
Annie

Angela said...

You are such a wonderful Mom. That is wonderful that you take the time and effort to keep the relationship with John's parents, your ability to be mature and forgiving is so inspiring and awesome. There are so many angry people out there who would not make the effort and the children are the ones who suffer.
I hope the visit goes well and you take time for yourself. Fingers crossed that you won't have to go to the cemetery. I hope you and the twins have a smooth journey there and back and have a lovely time.

Sandi said...

"I know my in-laws have stocked the house with toys and gifts for the kids and that the kitchen cabinets are filled with Maddie and Riley's favorite snacks. There will be no shortage of loving, capable hands to help with childcare, so if I want to get out for a run or a coffee or a trip to the mall, I can do that."

I can tell you what your in-laws could do that you wouldn't ever want them to see your kids again. They could be the type of people who would never do the above and that you would never leave your children alone with because they mistreated them when you had to go to work and your husband was sick and they were supposed to be taking care of them.

Sadia said...

It's very big of you to recognize that any disagreements you may have with your in-laws shouldn't impact their relationship with your kids.

I have to admit that I'm not that big. My father has never met my twins, and won't as long as I have any say in the matter. My mother sees them rarely and briefly. I trust it to my uncles and self to keep their Bangladeshi culture and heritage alive. I just don't have the patience for my parents.

I'd rather my kids have one set of loving, nurturing grandparents than one set of the former and one set that wouldn't know love if it sat on 'em! :)

Snickollet said...

Sandi--

I'm really sorry that happened to you and your kids.

-snick

angrycanrn said...

I don't know how you get through all the comments that you get. I wish you and the kids a restful Thanksgiving.

Strangely, my husband's ashes were a huge point of contention with my in-laws as well. At least John was able to make HIS wishes known. My husband had made it known that he wanted to be cremated and his ashes scattered at his families cabin. But he didn't say WHO he wanted to do that. The in-law's thought they should since "they knew him longer" and wanted to exclude the kids and I.
People get very weird when someone they love dies. I don't understand it.

Best wishes navigating the minefields that are left by John's passing.

Anne said...

Not from Detroit, so I can't give you any help. Just wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, Snick!

papa2hapa said...

Happy Thanksgiving, and I wish you a happy thanksgiving.

Teachermom said...

Hey! Have a great trip to Detroit!

The Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village are great to visit. THey're in Dearborn, about 45 min. from Bloomfield Hills.

Also, Farmington Hills has a place called Jungle Java, which is an indoor play area with coffee, etc. Great for the kids. I'm not sure how far from you.

I'm sure you've heard of Cranbrook - a GREAT place to visit! May be closed all weekend, but they have a science museum and planetarium.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is also a great place for the kiddos, although A2 is an hour or so from Bloomfield Hills. The Detroit Science Center is closer and also a lot of fun.

I'm sure I've repeated what other posters have said..I know I for sure repeated the Henry Ford thing. I hope the trip goes well. Bring the kids' mittens/hats!

Laura

abernier said...

First, I'd like to echo all the respect expressed by others that you're giving your kids the chance to experience their grandparents' love.

That being said, I live in Ann Arbor, have 7 yr old twins, and have been both the Hands-On Museum and the U of M Exhibit Museum of Natural History many times, with the twins at all ages. They love both, especially the Natural History Museum - if you go, try to make it up to the 4th floor which has great Native American displays, including a dugout canoe which kids can climb into. I love the Detroit Zoo - it's old and charming and grand. Cranbrook is on my list too - everyone raves about it. If you do end up coming to Ann Arbor and want more information, email me - I'm around this weekend. Happy Thanksgiving! (It's my favorite holiday too!)

amber said...

hope the holidays were smooth for you and that maddie and riley had a good time with their grandparents.