Need a summer full of fun and love? Have $5? Get a duck – or three.
In lieu of chickens (since Arden Hills can't be cool like Minneapolis) we decided to invite a few ducks to live with us for the summer. They are Mallards (or so we were lead to believe) and will fly away in the fall. Here's the cost break down:
5 bucks per duck
5 bucks for hay
7.75 worth of feed
Here's the part where I sell you on the idea:
Worth mentioning are the ducks' names. In above photo, Angel is in the lead with Oscar Jr. close behind. Snowflake takes up the rear. Can you figure out which two were named by Axel's friend Lilly?
Walker Art Gallery was hosting a family day today. It was the first time we brought our children inside. From the moment a "patron" scolded Axel to be careful with the glass doors to the second a stoned gallery cop gave me "the eyes" for letting my child get too close to an Andy Warhol exhibit I wondered if suburban families are the new urban terrorists?!
We were greeted outside of the walker by a woman who I couldn't help but wonder "What is your story? Wait. Don't tell it in front of the kids." She had two different shoes on (not even close in function or style) and a filthy ace bandage wrapped from ankle to thigh on her left leg. Her hair – she either made-out weed whip or paid some punky salon $400 for the "latest rage." At best guess she had 3 functioning teeth. Kind? Yes. No complaints on personality. She thanked us for coming.
It didn't take me long to discover that the check-in process for people who walk with a purpose and have monotone hair is quite different than for the general art-ulation. While I was being lectured about holding my child's hand (the starving artist wannabe actually had a barfy face as she said child) and making sure to place my backpack in a locker, an emo family of three strolled right passed wearing shoes that are likely made from "vegan-diet bat shit" and clothes that appear unlaundered as some sort of silent protest. Their child could have been a bleach-toting, pocketknife carrying nightmare but she strolled right past – wearing a backpack.
They must ramp up security for First Free Saturday because every studio apartment slob had been drug out of bed unwillingly to stand in a gallery to protect the common-garbage-turned-art from the curios hands of children. While some "believe that children are our future," the Walker Art staff are quick to judge.
It's a lovely event that they put on once a month and exposing people to art is a tremendous societal service they offer – however, the MIA does that EVERY DAY for free. Ask Axel, he will tell you all about it.
As far as the Andy Warhol exhibit goes. Axel could have told the goon squad that the artist is from Pittsburgh. He could have mentioned that he was just in Pittsburgh and they have cooler Warhol shit than this in the airport alone. He could have put that punk in his place and proven our "art society worthiness" right then and there – he didn't.
A quick tour of the 7 floors and we were headed outside for the family activities. Making solar watches, "fishing" for species in the Cherry/Spoon pond and re-creating historic Sculpture Garden Photos. Axel could have stayed all day in an environment that feels natural to him.
I've been all over this city with my kids in tow and for the first time today I had to question what it means to "play the part." Where does the authenticity lie between the urban and the suburban? Is it right to judge me because my nail polish isn't chipped or should said "got-her-shit-together-gal" be dressing the part for urban adventure? I just wanna know if ultra-urban family of three breaks down and eats at chain restaurants like the rest of us.
There were very few people inside the Gallery today – I hope not for the fact that it can feel like an unwelcome place. After all, the Walker and myself have the same goal – teaching respect and love for the arts – it's only our execution that differs.
Find yourself in a cardigan and matching shoes this weekend? Head to the Walker and make them a bit uncomfortable. I DARE YOU. We'll be heading back for the July First Saturday for sure.
I was faced with a curious situation this week involving a neighbor who gave a hand-me-down to my kid and 2 months later decided to take it back.
To give you some background information, this is an elderly woman - whom I have befriended and helped out on numerous occasions - who found herself with an excess of old Pokemon Cards that nobody wanted.
One night about 6 weeks ago she asked if Axel might enjoy them - and he accepted them with gratitude and excitement. That night Jahred and I were asked to stay up late and study the game so we could play when he woke up. Study we did and even took pictures to prove it.
Axel played and played with the cards. Sorting them and attempting to understand their respective values and roles. He brought them along in the car and taped the poster in his bedroom closet. They made him feel grownup and "cool."
Two days ago I heard someone screaming my name and headed to the Pokemon neighbor to see what she wanted. She said that she was "hoping that Axel won't be too disappointed" but has decided to give those cards to her grandson...who didn't want them 6 weeks ago but does now.
I tried not to use my "bossy voice" - as Axel refers to it - but I told her I would handle it and went home to explain the situation to Axel. He was sad but grabbed the entire box and brought them across the street. I could have brought them myself but wanted her to see his face as he relinquished a GIFT.
I was hoping for several outcomes.
1 - That she would realize that giving is a one way street and tell her grandson that the cards are gone - too late.
2 - That she would insist Axel keep some of the cards because surely neither child needs them all.
3 - That she would honor Axel for his kindness in making up for her mistake.
Axel returned from her house empty handed. Not a single card remained of the ones he had enjoyed. I couldn't help but think what a misdirected lesson in giving this was.
Shouldn't a child be able to receive graciously and without scepticism?
Today Axel asked if he could go and visit her - like he does many days after school. I said "No, not today."
It seems as though he has forgotten about yesterday. I'm still brooding. Give me a couple days.
In the meantime we are enjoying our garden and all that it freely gives. Below is what's blooming this week. Thank you to the friends who have split their plants so we could add color to our garden. Should you decide that you need to have the plants back...we have experience with that...and Axel forgives quickly.
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