Thursday, November 17, 2005

michelangelo or mr. incredible?

We went all-American today.

It was really out of sheer desperation. I was all set to spend our afternoon at the Sistine Chapel and to go check out Michelangelo’s ceiling, but the kids wouldn’t bite. We’d already spent an hour with S, practicing his letters, and T had practiced writing Os, and I felt desperate to get out and see a bit more before going home next week. I tried everything.

“You get to see what this artist thought G-d looked like. How many people get to see that?” I asked.

But S said, “Mommy, nobody knows what G-d looks like. You know that.” He looked disgusted with me.

Strike one.

“Okay,” I said, “But you get to see pretty pictures of angels,” I said. “Who doesn’t like angels?”

“Ugh, no more angels! I can’t stand anymore angels!”

He had a point. We’d seen so many statues and paintings of angels during our visit so far that they were really becoming a dime a dozen. But I wasn't ready to give up.

“They look like cute babies,” I appealed to T. “You love babies.”

“Ugh,” she said, copying S.

Strike two.

“Come on, you guys! It’s the Sistine Chapel! When you’re in Rome, you have to see the Sistine Chapel! It’s Michelangelo!”

They looked at me like I was crazy. Obviously, strike three.

“I know,” said S. “Let’s go to the Disney Store. We saw it from the bus the other day.”

“We can’t go to the Disney Store in Rome,” I said. “You can do that anytime at home. Besides, it’s a super long walk.”

“I’ll walk,” S said.

So in the end, I gave in. T fell asleep immediately in the stroller and S and I walked the forty minutes to the Disney store and then forty minutes back. We passed Piazza Venezia and the presidential building. We talked about the captured obelisks and the war columns and spoils. We talked about how little Italian cars are compared to American cars. We passed by the Museum of Art and talked about painting and different artists, like Miro (who is on exhibit at the MOA) and Michelangelo, and how S got to present his watercolor at the graduate drawing review that morning along with the rest of the class when he visited the studio with his dad. S told me about how proud he felt when the professor told him he liked his broad strokes and abstract design, pinned up his painting on the wall, and then asked him which of the students’ work he liked best. S walked the whole way, there and back, without a single complaint.

“Maybe we could go see more art,” S conceded, carrying the package with the over-priced, plastic Mr. Incredible that he’d purchased with his allowance.

“Hey, maybe we could go to the museum tomorrow,” I said.

“Okay,” S said. “But I’m still not going to look at any more angels.” He paused. “And can we go to McDonald’s and get shakes, too?”

“Don’t push it.”

He shrugged. “Okay, as long as we stay away from angels, I’m good.”


Jennifer said...

Oh, I love it! What an incredible, incredible experience. (Pun intended - feel free to throw the rotten tomatoes now!) But really. Wow.

BTW, Aidan walked up as I read your post and he said, "Hey! Why is Mr. Incredible's picture in your computer?!" ;)

Jessica, Jackie and Ezra said...

I love how you still believe in god, or at least respect the idea. Very pre-Holocaust of you. Kind of hopeful.