Last week, for our first post-holiday field trip, Briton and I spent the afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art. I have to confess that I didn't think I'd like it. I'd waited to go because, well, first of all, I don't know that much about art, and I know nothing about modern art. I love going to the Met, much of the "art" is also history, which is more my speed. And the art that is ART tends to be more recognizable from my limited art education.
But I loved it. And so did Briton. I was surprised, really, really surprised at the insights he had on the pieces we looked at. And I was almost as equally surprised at how much of the "modern" art was familiar to me.
We wandered though the furniture and technology exhibits and watched some very strange videos and stood in front of the most enormous Monet I've ever seen, checking out the how different it looked when you stood very close versus far away.
And I let Briton just talk.
Most of the time, especially during our "school day" talking is a back and forth thing, and I often have to try to limit his constant flow of conversation a bit. Otherwise we would never get anything done. But that day, I just let him talk.
It really was fascinating. Exhausting, yes, but fascinating. He commented on the curves carved into a building and how a Smart Car really was kind of like Art and how almost everything could be designed. He told me about his plans to build a Lego tram in his room (currently underway) and about all the Legos he NEEDS and maybe some K'NEX too and wouldn't it be cool if he could get up on the roof and start his tram there and maybe make it big enough to ride it down to the park.
We looked at Mondrian and Warhol and Hopper and Pollack (he didn't care for Pollack and thought Warhol was a little weird) and lots of artists I'd never heard of and he had surprisingly thoughtful insights on what made them all Modern Artists.
I get swept up, sometimes, by guilt with homeschooling. Guilt about if I'm covering enough or if I'm doing what's best for him at all. Guilt over decidedly more laid back days than he would be having in school. Guilt is, I know, part and parcel to parenting, but I've experienced more than my normal share this year over homeschool, I suspect it comes from my teaching days. But on days like this, when we stand in a museum and I see exactly how much he has grown this year, how much more mature he is, the guilt melts away and I realize that this, this is a good thing. All around.
Of course, our entire trip home was taken up by a conversation that centered around the fact that women smell like perfume and men "stink like arm pit" and that that is why our dog doesn't like strange men petting her. Because they stink. Like arm pit.
Did I say mature? Ahem. Well, he's getting there.