Last year a large exhibit on ancient Egypt came through the Portland Art museum.
Something you should maybe know about me… I’m completely awestruck and fascinated by the ancient Egyptian civilization.
So having that collection so close to our home… good thing for me. Mr. Kaos too finds the area of study intriguing so good thing for him.
K on the other hand… her only exposure to mummies and ancient Egyptian culture came courtesy of those meddling kids and their dog too.
We felt at 5 years old she was old enough for the real the thing.
We were… kind of right. She poured over each artifact and art piece. She marveled at the statues. She oohed and awed at the jewels. She was enthralled throughout the exhibit. She tried listening to the walking tour for kids but she got nothing from it. I switched her to the walking tour for adults (it had big words but somehow they managed to avoid the f-bomb). It was much more her speed. She craved real knowledge not kitschy bits of information.
We moved through each room seamlessly until we reached the area they had set as a tomb. It was dark enough that we had to pause just inside the doorway to allow our eyes to adjust.
Though the room held far too many people for my comfort, it was quiet. A sense of calm and awe seemed to have settled over the crowd as each person silently peered at each item in the room and tried to interpret the carvings the museum had replicated on the walls… She was shaken. Unsure of what would follow but she carried on her hand in mine. As we stepped into the next room we saw the sarcophagus which was one of the primary draws of the show. I moved her swiftly toward it noticing that another of the most interesting pieces, the mummy, lay encased in glass next to it.
I didn’t tell her where we were heading.
I did not tell her the mummy lay next to the sarcophagus…
Not until we were withing a couple of feet of it.
K, my brave adventurous girl, froze.
She froze and seemed torn between her intense desire to run and her yearning to know.
I picked her up and settled her on my hip as I walked quietly to the case where we looked inside…
She peered into its wrapped face and let out a deep breath before she began to panic and demand that we leave the room.
RIGHT NOW MAMA.
I took her to a brighter area and set her down on the floor. She stood staring at me with tears in her eyes, panic in her voice, convinced that that mummy was going to chase her just like on Scooby Doo.
We calmed her down, Mr. Kaos took her so I could go back in to see the mummy and coffin and then hand in hand in hand the three of us strode out towards the rainy evening… On our way we stumbled upon a docent, K immediately went to her and told her urgently “Don’t you know what they have in there! It’s a real MUMMY”
I’m sure she thought it was a mistake and if she just told the right person they would rectify the situation.
That’s my girl.
But that was a year ago… When she was almost 5.
Now she’s just a month or so from her 6th birthday. It was a long week at school and typically on Friday we have a quiet walk home and treat ourselves to a tasty snack and some tv. Today she couldn’t wait to get home.
To have that time with me.
To bake our cookies.
To watch The Mummy Who Would Be King.
It’s all she could talk about… well that and the Captain Bogg & Salty show coming up…
We watched the whole show. She saw every inch of that mummy twice.
And now, a year later, she’s asked if we can please take her to Egypt so she can study the royal mummies dynasty by dynasty.
What a difference a year makes… with kids and mummies at least.