I have THE COOLEST daughter on the planet. (My son TOTALLY ROCKS too, but the story is about the Soph today.)
We read every night. I purposely (and selfishly) got my children hooked on Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I say selfish, because the 1950’s cheese factor is lost on them and I had read almost every one as a little girl and I get to relive a bit of childhood each nite. So we read a Hardy Boys then a Nancy Drew and unlike Mr. Potter we don’t have to wait a year between books. There are like a million of these gems! Ok, that is the set up.
Sophie like to do crafts while I read. Noah likes to know where I am and reads along silently correcting my pronunciation or telling me if I skipped a word. (Type A anyone?!) Last night Sophie made the cutest paper dolls – I will have to show a pic. But I digress, this story is about the night before. So there we are with Fenton Hardy and his boys in the midst of another great adventure and Sophie gets bored. I don’t know how you can get bored with these riveting, timeless adventures, but, well, she does. She begins to flip through an old art history book I had pulled out and had been reading earlier in the day. She skips around and stops on a picture of Redon’s The Cyclops. It is a fairly obscure painting. In it there is a cyclops looking over a fair maiden in a garden. Sophie studies it. I ask her what she sees. “Well Mama, he IS a monster, but I don’t think a mean one. I think he likes the lady, like he is protecting her.” How do you know that?” I ask. Because his eye, he seems like he is happy, plus the colors are like in a dream, so pretty. They make me feel happy.” So then I read the description by the very learn-ed art historian that says in a much more sophisticated way just what Sophie had said. Now, imagine her excitement when I told her that not a month ago I saw the REAL LIVE painting at the High Museum?? It is in the collection of the Van Gogh exhibit on loan at the High. I myself, studied the painting for quite a while, intrigued with the gentle cyclops. So I was thrilled that when by chance Sophie was struck by the same emotions as I was. So tomorrow we go see it in person. I love that. I love that I can make art in a book come alive. I am excited to show her some Van Gogh’s that literally take your breath away. There is nothing like standing in front of one of his paintings and gettig almost dizzy from the emotion caught within his brush strokes. She is very excited. Noah didn’t want to go until I told him there are headphones he can where and buttons he can press and control himself. Ahhhh, electronics, now he is interested. My kids, the loves of my life.