Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, or The Hell?! I Have a Teenager Now

I have a teenager now. Hard to believe he turned thirteen today. He begged me to let him stay home from school in order to celebrate this milestone properly and, of course, I acquiesced. We spent the morning lazing in our pajamas and then headed to NYC, our favorite spot EVER. I had the privilege of taking him on his first trip to the Guggenheim. I was excited to show him this New York landmark. I knew he would love the architectural design of the building (after all he has the Lego model!) and the unique feeling of the space itself. And I was right.

It didn't hurt that the exhibit was so fabulous--Maurizio Cattelan, an Italian artist who is renowned for his provocative art and for being a prankster. His art focuses on contradictions in society and is both humorous and incredibly profound. This exhibit itself is like nothing I have ever seen before--123 pieces hung from the ceiling on ropes, mocking the fact that many artists commit career suicide by agreeing to a retrospective of their art, possibly even asking the same question of himself. It was thought provoking and beautiful and a little bit insane. Evan loved it, and I loved that he took his time and really inspected it. We didn't rush. We walked slowly around and around the rotunda viewing the works from every angle and talking about each piece, imagining Cattelan's intent and wondering what the hell he was thinking in some cases. It was great to be able to point things out to each other or suddenly see a certain piece from a totally different angle, whether above it or below it or directly across from it at various points during our stroll.

We checked out the Pop Objects and Icons exhibit and spent a little time looking at the Kandiskys, then imagined what it would be like to live in some of the apartments overlooking the museum and watched the pigeons fly at the windows. We sifted through items in the gift shop, picked up some postcards to send ourselves to commemorate our day and then we headed out. We had lunch at Serafina, a little Italian place that I love. Their pizza is amazing and, of course we had gnocchi. I bought him BuckyCubes in the museum store so we had fun playing with them while we waited for our food. After a leisurely lunch we headed back to Port Authority and took the bus home.

I am always amazed by this kid. He is bright and articulate and thoughtful and funny and creative and kind. He thanked me a million times for letting him skip school and for bringing him to the city. I always enjoy his company and I love getting the chance to spend time with him one-on-one. He is growing up so fast. As we walked through the subway station we passed a young man in his early 20s. I stared at him as he passed and then looked over at Evan and realized how quickly he is speeding toward that next milestone. When he saw me looking over at him he raised his eyebrows in question and I said, "I just can't believe that in 1o years you will be 23 years old." He shook his head and grimaced. He has always understood how fleeting nature of life, even as a really young boy he seemed to recognize how precious and special it is. He put his arm around me, and we shook off that thought and wandered out into the sunlight together.

Happy Birthday, Evan. I am so proud to be your mother, today and every day.