Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beautiful Day



Did you ever have a day so perfect and lovely that by the end of it you felt as if you'd drunk several glasses of good champagne? That was today.

We had made plans with Hedgehog's special friend, and his parents, to take the children to the Museum of Modern Art. Hedgie had never been to the MOMA before, and it is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth, so I was very excited to introduce her to it. Now, all parents know that often when you're excited about doing something with your child, and perhaps have a lot invested in the event, plans can go wretchedly awry--your kid is cranky, she ends up hating it, it's worse than no fun in the end--but this was a remarkable confluence of really good elements: I adore her little friend, he's just as bright and eccentric and kind as Hedgehog, and they really understand each other, you can see it in the way they hold hands and whisper and discuss books they love and concoct peculiar word games. Even better, his parents are two of my favorite people in the world, a rare couple who are capable of more than just staring at their child and discussing, ad nauseam, his habits...or worse yet, god forbid, real estate...or their jobs...(lord knows I can be as guilty of that)...they are so funny, so acerbic, so worldly without being pretentious, so much more than the sum of their child, their apartment, and their career...

And if I sound like I just came back from a really awesome date, well I did...the museum was splendid, we ate lunch first in the cafe (parents, a visit to the art museum should always begin with lunch or a snack to fortify oneself), roamed around and looked at the Pop Art soup cans and the giant matchbook, and marveled over the Jasper Johns and Seurat, and the strange Louise Bourgeois skinny vagina sculptures, and the children were spell-bound by Rousseau's "Sleeping Gypsy," and asked each other, was the gypsy dreaming of the lion, or was the lion dreaming of the gypsy? Were the lion's eyes gentle or fierce?



and the grown-ups laughed over how much Gaugin liked those native women...so much better than hanging around in Van Gogh's ascetic narrow little bedroom...



And there was more food in the dappled sculpture garden, by the soft noise of the fountains, and so much laughter over the kids' heads...and the kids were tired but full of food and saturated paint colors and the movement of the sculpture...

And the subway ride home was crowded and peaceful, and Hedgehog leaned against me and closed her eyes, and murmured that the rocking was putting her to sleep.

I feel now as if I'd spent a day outside in the sunshine, I'm warm and there's a stillness inside me which is very rare indeed...

It was a beautiful day.

13 comments:

Suzanne said...

Amen, my dear friend. Amen. I'll be back with more, but have to go to the Mercedes garage in a minute, but will return. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post. You're an amazing parent. Absolutely amazing. And what an amazing child. And art. Hummmmmmmmmm. Art. I love parents who teach their kids about art.

Love you baby,
Me XO

Suzanne said...

Read your comment at the Cafe. I love you!!! Hey sista!!! Is life ever easy? NO! Why??? I'll be back.

muralimanohar said...

*sigh* I miss decent museums. No offense to Sydney and Honolulu, but neither of them really stand high in the ranks of world class museums. :(

MJ said...

I feel like I've drunk several glasses of good champagne every day.

Possibly because I drink a few cocktails every day.

Skeeter said...

Just love the thoughts the kids had about the art. Yes, there's such a difference between their thinking and that of the adults. Great post!

Best wishes,

Skeeter

Leah said...

Thanks Suzanne! You are such a booster. xoxo

Hi Murali, I think I take the NYC museums somewhat for granted. After yesterday, I'm going to step up my museum going. It can be so relaxing and stimulating all at the same time.

Mistress MJ, I guess a museum high could be supplemented by a real high!

SKEETER!!! So awesome to see you around!

Anonymous said...

Next time I'm in town: Cloisters! PS1! The Met (American Wing Period Rooms?) XO Allison P.S. I despair of finding these kinds of parents/friends in Oklahoma-by-the-Sea. Especially the acerbic part.

XO

Allison

Leah said...

Hey lovey! I know if anyone can find a like-minded couple of parents to hang with, it's you and W. I bet you'll be magnets to the cool ones...

xoxoxoxo

and yes, I know E. would love the Cloisters, and I've never been to PS 1! It's a date.

kylie said...

hi leah,
this post strikes lots of chords.
did you ever get one of those coolness awards? you should have.

does that make sense? i'm so tired.

i'll be back

BEAST said...

I love modern art , (I was trying to explain to my father that good or bad is hardly the piont , it will still invike a reaction) . We havn't got much in the Museum line on the southcoast.
Sounds like you had a wonderful time

Random Chick said...

I feel like singing, "Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day..." but I'll spare you the migraine.

Glad you had such a beautious day!!!

Suzanne said...

Wow, is that RC before she learned she won the socks, The Blottie Award and Cece's Poetry Contest? That woman has no clue the impact she's had!!!

I'm here to say thanks for your kind words. You made me laugh when you laughed at me. I just love that sort of thing! I'm pooped and I'm covered in poop. Hey! Not funny. That last step in tricky. Watch out. And you know what Leah? You remind me of my sisters because you're an absolute hoot and make me laugh my ass off.

Love you darling. Hope you're having a beautiful fall NY afternoon.

With a big old hug and sloppy kiss...Blottie!

Team Jolias said...

Hey, do you remember when our parents took US to a Rousseau show? I can't remember where. And the art gave us the giggles massively and that made the parents really happy? I still kind of giggle when I see one of his paintings like an echo of all the laughing we did that day!