After touring a large number of sites in the Middle East, many not much more than a ‘significant’ pile of rock their father identified along some barren stretch of highway, my two children, boys ages 9 and 11, had this to say: “Just because it’s old, dad, doesn’t mean it’s interesting.”
So, how, as a parent (and an enthusiast of archeology and other ‘old’ stuff) could I keep them interested?
For this, I stumbled on a wonderful recipe and will share it now with all other like-minded parents who face the challenge of touring citadels and other crumbly things while keeping children in tow.
First, take one pile of old stones, like, for instance:
Amphitheater at Tlos, Turkey.
Next, add one small (but hopefully very quick and wily) lizard.
Then, applying the wisdom of age and keen observation, father (or other parent), will notice lizard, take excellent close-up photo for later use in blog entry, then steathily indicate its presence to bored progeny.
The speedy little bugger hid behind the crumbled ruins of some nice Roman stairs.
Bake for 35 minutes, during which time father might enjoy, at his leisure and without harassment, the majesty of associated ruins and the gorgeous backdrop of nearby Turkish mountains. Children scamper after lizard.
End result? A rather NQR sort of entertainment, but happy kids and happy dad.
Younger son, 'permitted' to hold the Lizard by his brother. NOTE: this photo was actually taken at the Jerash ruins in Jordan. The Tlos lizard conducted a successful evasion. Nevertheless, the principle remains unerringly valid.