I'm definitely all in favor of disciplining ourselves to find beauty in the every day moments of life, learning to take the broken, beat-up, ugly and overlooked places in our lives and redeem them by searching for the loveliness hidden underneath the mess. But every so often I long to be in a place where I can sit back and drink in the pure gorgeousness of a place. And during this cold and rainy March our usual spots have been downright dreary, so off we traipsed to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
This museum may be one of the most kid-un-friendly places I have ever visited. There is exactly nothing you are allowed to touch in the entire place. The visitors are either stressed out students from a local university scribbling feverishly in their sketch books or lavishly dressed, elderly Bostonians inching through the exhibits at a snail's pace. Either way, they are silent. Meaning that my children's energy and noise made an immediate impression and invited more than a few scowls (although one elderly gentlemen forever endeared himself to me when he nodded at Abigail as she frolicked through an extremely somber photography display and commented "One of the more interesting exhibits!") Most people would say I was crazy to take them, and they would have a point. I'm not sure they gained a lot from the experience. I am certain they understood very little of the grandeur laid out before them, as humorously illustrated when Abigail stopped at a painting of a nun and exclaimed, "Look, Mom! A penguin". But they did walk away confident that they LOVE art museums, and they got to see their mom entranced by a grandeur they have not yet grown to appreciate.
For my part I got to step into an entire room filled with gorgeous Monet paintings. I got to stop and look several stories up to drink in the breathtaking rotunda and its John Singer Sargent murals. I got to see mummies thousands of years old and musical instruments used in the courts of kings. I got to stand in awe of a magnificent oil painting ten feet high depicting Achilles' chariot driver struggling to hold onto his powerful horses. And everywhere I went, everything was sparklingly, spotlessly clean.
I may have been distracted, and I may have been tired, and I may have had to gently (and not so gently) remind them to be quiet, to move slowly and to try to appreciate just a fraction of all that surrounded us, but at the end of the day there was something there that filled up this mama's weary soul, and that, I would say, was worth it.
Plus we didn't get arrested for destroying a multi-million dollar work of art!