By Joy Rose
When we opened the Museum Of Motherhood seven months ago, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the unwavering and unconditional support of Debra Whitefield and Barry Hanson of Gymboree. The Motherhood Foundation didn’t have huge backing. No loans, just a vision, volunteers and a legacy project worthy of the HERstory books. Thank goodness Deb and Barry said ‘yes’.
If you want to support the people who support the museum, please tell all your pregnant friends, new moms and families that Gymboree is the place to go for fun, physical and social-emotional learning. There are multiple locations in Manhattan, Long Island and across the country. Gymboree classes are designed to encourage age-appropriate learning through play. The most popular class, Play & Learn, is a 7-level program beginning at birth and going all the way up to age 5. Separating classes based on developmental stage helps to support a child’s growth at his or her own individual pace. From sensory stimulation to problem-solving games and storytelling, classes use play-based activities to stretch the body and mind. All Gymboree activities are designed to help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play.
Our Museum Of Motherhood store is right around the corner from the Upper East Side Gymboree on First Ave., between 84th and 85th St. Our shop is really just a corner near the front desk as you enter the space. Ashish Rajadhyaksha, who coordinates the Children’s Museum Of The East End Store, in Bridgehampton, NY, helped up fill the space with great toys and cool gear during the first four months of our opening. He’s now the proud inventor of a really neat piece of kid’s furniture called a ‘Pullo’man‘. If you’re a city dweller or a suburbanite, this practical storage unit is combo plush toy and ride-on toy. He’s got a Kickstarter campaign going to help raise the capital to manufacture and bring these to America from his home country of India. I bought one to support him and look forward to using it in the museum in our playspace. You can support his efforts by going directly to Kickstarter today.
Last but not least, my fabulous new favorite writer is V.C. August, author of ‘The Healing Hour‘. I brought the book away with me on vacation, not knowing what to expect. I’d met V. a few weeks before at a power-luncheon organized by Donnetta Campbell of The Barnyard Group. It’s not easy to write about illness, especially an illness likeLupus, that can just go on and on with dreary, desperate symptoms. But, V. spins a tale focused on her life as a tough-minded New Yorker, and tells this tale with humor and clarity. Her writing style is honest and to the point. While the book’s synopsis says the story focuses on the psychiatrist/patient relationship; she enters therapy, and goes through the ultimate loss, when her psychiatrist is diagnosed with stage four cancer, and succumbs to the disease. How could this be a good vacation book you might ask? It’s simply a really well-written affirmation of life, survival (V’s survival) and love.
I wasn’t paid to write any of this. I’m just a hard-working Mama, who believes in sharin’ the love.