Saturday, May 15, 2010

Civilizing Moments

If you are a parent of more than one young child, my husband recommends the following eye-opening experience. Take your oldest to an art museum (or museum of your choice) and eat in the cafe after. It's probably more insightful if the museum isn't entirely kid-oriented.

My husband took our 4-year-old to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts last week. They brought sketch pads and drew their way through several exhibits (cool idea, Dad!). Then they had lunch at the cafe. He said they enjoyed talking during lunch and observing the art together, and both talked about it extensively that evening. They shared their drawings and my daughter now wants to make a book with them. All this naturally warmed my heart to no end, and I smiled to recognize mini-Duchamp's in my daughter's hand.

As you all know, this would have been a totally different experience with little brother or sister in tow. Although our kids are close in age and it's possible to find activities we can enjoy at the same time, there's no question the experience is different when you have your child 1-on-1. We have to keep finding ways to do this. It's good for everyone and you inevitably learn a little more about each other.

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