When Grace was first born and Atticus was just 19 months old we moved to a high-rise in the city on Wacker drive. We had a view of the lake and Grant Park and rode the elevator with a former and a future governor (Edgar and Ryan). It was the summer of the OJ trial and it was so hot people were dying left and right in the city. Fireworks were shot out every night over the newly renovated Navy Pier and we could see them and hear them from the kids' bedroom.
Every day the kids and I would head out to explore with the double-stroller. I quickly got to know the underground pedway system (to escape the heat) and soon walked off the baby weight and then some. Sometimes I would push them down to the Art Institute (the stroller entrance is in the back on Columbus--can't get in on the lion side) where we've always had a membership. Sometimes I just nursed Grace in the family area while Atticus looked at art books. Other times we would wander around and stop to people watch. I like to look at people looking at art more than I like to look at art really. Most days we sat in the room with Monet's haystacks and enjoyed the cool, quiet room and then went on to get a snack. After we moved out to Glenview I still took them in to the city whenever I could and we almost always included a brief stop at the museum. That might be the best part about having a museum pass--that you can pop in for a short time and not feel obligated to look at everything all at once-- which is really just a chore.
During these visits we had some memorable moments like the time Grace petted the horse on a Remington statue. Atticus and I had a heart-attack--the guard never noticed. To this day she says, "Well how was I supposed to know you're not supposed to touch it?" Or the time Grace tripped and nearly went through the Chagall windows.
Sometimes we would see young adults in the galleries, dressed funky, sketching the art, or taking notes, or just discussing the art with each other. Art students I would think--how cool is that? I was vaguely aware that the Art Institute also has a school attached to it but did not give it much thought.
So it is a great surprise to me that after the long hard college search it turns out that is where Atticus will be going--the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. During all those visits it NEVER occurred to me that one of the kids might go to school there one day.
He will be studying photography and print-making starting next fall. And one thing's for sure, he will feel quite at home there. More on the School of the Art Institue of Chicago in my next post...