Amiri commands: Be happy Papa! He is one of grandchildren (2 boys and 2 girls). I come in contact with him more frequently than any of the others. In fact, I see or speak with every week during the school year, mainly because his school and afterschool are only two or three blocks from my home. Given I do not own, nor do I want to own a car, our closeness is really convenient for Iyonna (my oldest daughter) to use my home for various occasions.
This past week she had to go on a business trip – so Amiri invaded my world. He takes over as soon as he busts through the door. He knows I have a TIVO and I saved “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” the animated series for him to watch. As he jumps on my bed he demands – Papa switch to Star Wars! I demand that he take off his shoes and put them in the other room.
The week was full with taking him places – places I like to either see him simply have fun in or places I want him to experience with me so that I can share my insights. To watch Amiri in full motion is to catch a glimpse of joy. He never stops talking; he walks slowly because he is more interested in the conversation than in getting to any destination. It’s just the opposite for me – I walk fast to avoid boredom. We have this way of walking where I demand that he walk directly in front of me so that I’m always on the verge of stepping on his heal – this is the only way I can keep his pace up – there’s no way to stop him from talking!.
We went to the Chicago Historical Museum on Monday, Tuesday Millennium Park for Music without Borders, Wednesday Miniature Golf in Lincoln Park and Thursday the Art Institute. The Art Institute experience was the most endearing. There, we took a stroll through the Modern Art of 1910 to 1950 European art scene. It began with the strangeness of Salvador Dali in all his Surrealist drama. Amiri asked all the right questions – why were the faces broken; was the scene a dream or nightmare; was it a puzzle that could be put together, and I answered as best I could, but I promised that we could come back until he got comfortable with all stories and provocations that modern art tends to inspire.
It was even more noticeable to see Seth and Amiri talk about art. Seth is a writer looking for his muse and I want him to test his talents by using some of the imagery of modern art. We are planning to spend some time next week at Modern Art Museum. Maybe I will report more after that experience.