The Art of Forced Family Fun

We live in Arkansas, not even three hours from the newest major American art museum, Crystal Bridges. It’s a big deal. So, of course, it’s been open for well over a year and we hadn’t been. Until yesterday. We piled in the trusty Subaru and headed Northwest.

We made a strategic error. We told Jackson he was being dropped off at his grandparents for the weekend after we left the museum. He pretty much spent the entire day saying some version of, “Are you people done having the Forced Family Fun now, so I can go to my Mamaw and Papaw’s house where they let me do anything I want?” I replied with something really maternal and loving like, “We brought you here to make your life better because we are a NICE FAMILY, DAMNIT! Now start having a good time and stop asking me when we’re leaving!” But otherwise, it went really well.

Crystal Bridges is quite designed of copper and glass to sit right in the middle of nature. It's so lovely to take in the scenery.

Crystal Bridges is quite designed of copper and glass to sit right in the middle of nature. It’s so lovely to take in the scenery.

Well, Hello Dolly (the real one by Andy Warhol) I heard one of the docents telling a woman that during opening week there was a rumor Dolly Parton would come view this painting. But he said she never made it, "because I looked. And I would have seen her!"

Well, Hello Dolly (the real one by Andy Warhol) I heard a docent telling a woman that during opening week, there was a rumor Dolly Parton would come view this painting. But he said she never made it, “because I looked. And I would have seen her!”

Now if I could just find a way to get this kind of a reading nook in my house...

Now if I could just find a way to get this kind of a reading nook in my house…

Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell, probably one of my favorite paintings ever.

Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell, probably one of my favorite paintings ever.

Life imitating art

Life imitating art: this is the kind of stuff that makes my friends love me. It’s also the stuff that makes Charlie say, “You are SO.WEIRD.”

He's got no strings to hold him down...

He’s got no strings to hold him down…

As far as anyone here knows, we're a nice, normal family.

As far as anyone here knows, we’re a perfectly respectable family.

I want to go back. I want to go when I’m not being hustled along by a 6-year-old boy on his way to Donkey Island so I can really look at some of these pieces. I also want to go back with the juvenile delinquent and explore the trails all around. We could spend days out there in the woods. We’ll be back many more times, I’m sure. When something this amazing is so close, you’ve just got to see it as much as possible.

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