It was one of those days, those days for the record books. Not because anything in particularly fabulous occurred, nor because any great plans came to culmination. It was just one of those days when a spontaneous outing becomes a magical adventure, when mother nature and father time and good old New York City herself all happen to be on the same subway car with you, so you all travel in step together for a few hours, and hence the stars align. It was one of those days that calls for pause on every corner so that you can catch your breath as you take. it. all. in... take in the miracle that these two children- these two beacons of joy and energy- are indeed yours; take in the fact that somehow, in a city of over eight million, you and your husband found one another; take in the reality that you've managed to make a life for yourself in your very favorite place in the entire world; take in the anomaly of how every single brick wall and park bench and dirty alley and shiny skyscraper and businessman and tourist and socialite and homeless person can somehow band together in this place and complete you. It was one of those days.
We had planned to head to the MOMA to walk through the new Rain Room exhibition. With bagels in our bellies and hats on our heads, we navigated the madness of midtown, dashing through crowds and sprinting across avenues, until we came to the great pristine museum on 53rd street. Our expert line-avoider (me) scored tickets in a flash, our expert baby wearer (Gaby) turned our son facing outward so that he too might enjoy a little art, and our expert button-pusher (Biet) got us all fixed up on the elevator. And as the doors opened onto the painting & sculpture floor, the madness and the speed of the city dissipated, and all was calm. The light shone clear through the creativity-laden air, and the history and magnitude of the space was downright palpable. Ahh the MOMA.
When I first came to the MOMA at 16 years old, it was truly love at first sight. Hands down my favorite museum in the city, something about being there just feels right. As I walk through the galleries, I am overcome with wonder, then understanding, and finally inspiration. And when I have seen what I need to see and I leave, all I want to do is to go home and create something. It's a good feeling. It's a good museum.
I feel so strongly about taking kids to museums from a young age. I think it is just wonderful. Yes, there's the tedious process of attempting to teach museum etiquette: the sideways stares from stern-looking art aficionados, the constant explaining of why we can't touch the paintings, the reality of short attention spans and frequent appetites and loud voices, and the sacrifice, in a way, of your own personal museum experience. You dash from room to room a bit faster than you'd like, stop to nurse in the lounge area, and have to cut the trip short when little eyes begin to get tired and little attitudes begin to emerge. But then your two-year-old daughter points to a Meret Oppenheim painting and turns to you and says, "Nico, ball, flower.", and you know, in your heart, that she's getting it.
On this particular day, we all got it. I think we were each able to see what we needed to see in order to feel that certain spark of inspiration. And when we discovered that the wait for the Rain Room was a whopping three hours, well we didn't even mind leaving it for next time. Because this day was a perfect day, made for going and doing, not waiting and wanting. So with smiles on our faces and hats on our heads, on we went...