As much as I have been driven bat-shit crazy by the kids this summer, I do actually enjoy taking them places. Mainly because I enjoy watching how they engage with the world around them. This week – exhausting and trying as it has been (don’t ask as Caity won’t let me discuss) – gave me great opportunities to see the kids in action in worlds created by man (down town) and nature (Whytecliffe Park).
We had had a pretty quiet long weekend apart from a fun swim at Hillcrest followed by a stupid expense and weird dinner at WhiteSpot. So after an insane meltdown over coffee cups from Tara and fights between the older siblings on Tuesday, I thought it wise to get them out of the house before we all killed each other.
We hopped on the Skytrain and headed down town.
Our first stop was the Vancouver Art Gallery. I haven’t been in there in ages and the kids claimed that they hadn’t been at all. Regardless of exhibits the building is fun to wander and explore and the current exhibits of ‘modern’ art and installations gave the kids much to discuss.
In one room it really struck me how we the watchers of art become part of the art in the watching. The Grand Hotel exhibit is amazing. Exploring the concept of world travel and micro-society that a hotel is and it’s place in the environment, showed the kids the world or architecture, pop culture and global citizenship. However, I paused as we walked into one of the rooms.
My kids don’t do anything slowly….they prowled restlessly from piece to piece, with little interest in reading anything unless it truly piqued their curiosity. I trailed behind making sure Tara didn’t destroy anything and trying to read about the exhibits we flew by.
In one room people were VERY quietly absorbing the literature and scenes around them. It was a perfect tableau of human and art interacting….in total silence. People were barely moving from their chosen spots….I almost thought they were part of the exhibit…..a human installation. Watching my children roam amongst these living statues was like watching water rush around rocks. All in silence.
Viewing art in any forms is a great place to start fun conversations with your kids. The kids were not thrilled by the 17th Century Flemish art but I grew up in Edinburgh with an amazing gallery of art on on my doorstep and this reminded me of home. However, chatting with them about the painted portraits of then vs the modern photography was great. When they realized that an ‘old’ painting was literally a photograph of THAT time and THOSE people, we all shared our views and impressions on the people in the paintings and their clothing and what you could learn about them from the paintings.
We celebrated our artiness with lunch at Milestones.
I also enjoy watching how my kids interact with other adults…of all stripes… that you can encounter on a trip down town. Everyone likes to chat with Tara and Caity and Adam managed compliments on their clothing choices from various ‘interesting’ character with aplomb.
Walking anywhere with 3 kids can be a lesson in herding cats, in down town crowds on Robson and Granville, it can be particularly daunting, but a lesson all urban kids should probably learn.
Explaining the nostalgia-but-still-cool factor of John Fluevog shoes was fun too.
We did the total opposite yesterday with a trip to Whytecliffe Park and beach for a day of picnics and beach and rock roaming.