But now that I have kids, I feel nothing but a sense of deep appreciation for what BYU is and what the university stands for.
- Free museums! BYU has an art museum, a life science museum, a paleontology museum, and a museum of ancient cultures. They're pretty tiny, but we go to each one several times a year.
- Lots and lots of activities for children: Astrofest, Open Studio, and the Beverly Taylor Sorensen Concert Series, for example. We try to attend as many of these as we can. They're consistently well-organized and enriching.
- Professors who like kids. My Engineer had a question about squirrels, so I helped him write an email to the university's expert on small mammals. The reply we got from him was warm and informative, as though getting a question from a six-year-old absolutely made his week.
- A culture of people who like kids.
I felt really self-conscious because of how loudly she was screaming. One of the student presenters came up to me and asked if I needed anything, which I found really embarrassing. I got up to leave because I was so mortified, even though he said that I didn't have to leave, and that his own son was the same way.
Well, the baby calmed down and then we went back in and stayed for another two hours. In this day of anti-child sentiment where people hate being seated next to the screaming baby on an airplane, I was shown a considerable amount of compassion. Yes, it was an embarrassing situation, but I felt grateful that everyone was so gracious about it.
I can't say that I have an intimate knowledge of what other universities are like in this regard, but something makes me doubt that we will ever find a university as child-friendly as BYU.