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Family valued 5.4.05

Intriguing sprockets and a lowly worm

Has Rochester grown tiresome? Head to the Buffalo Museum of Science for Springs, Sprockets and Pulleys, the mechanical sculptures of Steve Gerberich, on exhibit through June 26. There were no German guys named Dieter hosting the exhibit during our visit, but we did see a guitar-playing robot that looked just like Rick James.

Gerberich's sculptures are assembled from a huge range of vintage items like teapots, farm machinery, and carnival figures. They have kid-friendly themes such as sports and ecology and spring to life when kids press buttons or crank wheels.

Twelve-year-old Mike noted, "The sculptures are set up so you can see how they move. It's like the Mousetrap game. One thing sets off another thing, then that thing sets something else off." Hey! That's the same way my midlife crisis works!

Given my kids' ages, I figured we'd skip Richard Scarry's Busytown exhibit, running through May 22. What self-respecting 9-year-old would be caught dead in a mini factory, grocery store, shipyard, and other play areas festooned with Lowly Worm and friends? Ahem. Mine. Julia breathlessly exclaimed, "I expected this to be just for little 5-year-olds, but it's so good it could be for 12-year-olds!" That's the adrenaline talking. Mike sought refuge in the excellent Whem Ankh permanent exhibit on Ancient Egypt.

Admission --- including special exhibits --- is $7 for adults, $5 for children 3 to 18, kids under 3 are free. Open Wednesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. www.buffalomuseumofscience.org, 866-291-6660.

--- Linda Kostin, www.junkstorecowgirl.com

This week for families

Bloomin' May Baskets Fri, May 6. grades K-6, The Longhouse, Helmer Nature Center, 154 Pinegrove Ave, Irondequoit, 4-5:30 p.m. $5. 336-3035

Brighton Memorial Library storytimes: Mondays 10 a.m. (ages 3-4), 10:30 a.m. (ages 1-2.5); Thursdays 7 p.m. | 2300 Elmwood Avenue. 784-5300, www.brightonlibrary.org

Day Out With Thomas: The Celebration Tour Fri-Sun, May 6-8. storytelling, ride with Thomas, live music, Medina Railroad Museum, 530 West Ave, Medina. $16. 866-468-7630, www.ticketweb.com, www.railroadmuseum.net

Free Comic Book Day Sat, May 7. The Book Rack, 3047 W Henrietta Rd, www.bookrackrochester.com | Comics Etc, 274 N Goodman St, 473-7150 | All Heroes, 4410 Lake Ave, 865-9113 | Collector's Choice, 54 Main St, Brockport, 637-8556

Henrietta Public Library storytimes: Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. (preschool). | Sat, May 7, mother and daughter spring pin craft, 2-3:30 p.m. $5. | 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7092

Inside the College Admissions Process Wed, May 4. high-school students and their families, UR River Campus, 6-8:30 p.m. $20. 275-2344, www.rochester.edu/college/osp

Into the Woods Summer Camp Sat, May 7, Tues, May 9, Thurs, May 11. registration, ages 9-25, Magical Journey Thru Stages, UpStage3, Auditorium Center, 875 E Main St, Sat 12-3 p.m., Tues and Thurs 7-9 p.m. mjtstages.com

Kids Fishing Derby Sat, May 7. Pittsford Rotary Club, ages 15 and younger, Powderhorn Lodge, Powder Mills Park, 7-10 a.m. Free. 381-4001

No more games of heed and seek

The Supreme Self... is balanced in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, as also in honor and dishonor. --- Bhagavad Gita VI.7

My children seldom welcome my advice anymore. This bruises my ego. I've lived much longer, accumulating great wisdom regarding interpersonal relationships, batting stances, and long division. They won't listen.

In my head I know it is a child's job to self-differentiate. Somehow I forget that naturally means different than me. Did I father children to affirm myself? I sometimes lean that way. But at my parental best I recognize that the crazy, unpredictable love between their mother and me has twice taken on a life of its own. It is an act of faith and grace to acknowledge that we own the seeds but not the product of our love.

I taught my son to ride his bike. He pedaled and looked straight ahead. I ran along behind with one hand steadying the back of the seat. He couldn't find his balance. It suddenly dawned on me that he was having trouble compensating for my effect on the bike.

I took a deep breath, let go, and stopped dead in my tracks. Sure enough, he wobbled, righted himself, and rode on under his own power. Oblivious to the growing distance between us, he called over his shoulder, "You can let go now, Dad. You can let go."

My child, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. --- Proverbs 23:15

--- Rev. Corey Keyes