Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vets at playing hooky

Not to diss on veterans (my dad happens to be one), but, man, did the holiday honoring our nation's defenders really provide some unexpected shock and awe.

When we dropped off C at daycare on Monday, I let out a big sigh of relief that we had solved a potential stressor. Of course we hadn't been there five minutes before I was told, "Oh, by the way, we're closed tomorrow for Veteran's Day."

You've got to be kidding me ... I said only in my mind. (Didn't want to sound testy on the first day. Heck, the first few minutes.) But after all this, I was still going to have to take a day off of work with very little notice the very first day I secure daycare for my daughter? Oh, the irony.
But, oh the fun.

We decided to meet my friend Vickey and her son, G, over at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, aka LACMA. They have a great NexGen program, where children up to age 18 can join for free. With their membership they can take along an adult as a guest also for free. So, I was C's (cheap) date to the museum.
The kids had a great time. C, as usual, was unstoppable. Literally. Like trying to catch a cloud and pin it down ("Sound of Music" shoutout!). She chased little G all around the courtyard in an effort to land a hug.

While Vickey and I sat down, trying to catch our breath, we listened to some live classical music that was playing in the LACMA courtyard. It was a mix of flutes and cellos and violins. Before one tune, a woman said, "I'd like to introduce to you one of my favorite songs, it's very special to me, something from the 13th century ..." Seriously? 13th century? I wasn't expecting Huey Lewis from 1982, but 1265? I've never heard anyone refer to a fave tune as being anything remotely close to a year in the 1200s.
We decided to take in just one exhibit. With two almost-2-year-olds, that's pretty ambitious. Hoping to avoid anything breakable, we chose the Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008. The photos were fascinating, pictures of people from D.H. Lawrence, to Igor Stravinsky all the way to J. Lo and George Clooney.
Of course, C decided to run in circles while grown-ups lined up single file to leisurely peruse the photographs on the walls. One woman came up to me and said, "She's really cute but probably not a good place for her here." To her credit, she was emphasizing the "cute" part more than the "What do you think you're doing bringing your toddler to a museum?" aspect of the sentence that I latched onto.
Excuse me?! I'm treating my child to art and culture ... I said in my mind. "Thank you. She's full of energy," I said in real life.
I'm hoping the appreciation will come later. Thank you, NexGen.
As we were leaving, I looked down the street to where my office is located. It was strange not being there. I wasn't sick, and I wasn't on vacation, so this was a day I couldn't quite categorize. What was nice was spending time with C and with my friend and her little one, something I don't get to do very often. Thank you, too, veterans. I couldn't have done it without you.
And as for that hug C was chasing down ... she got it. Unstoppable, I tell you.

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