Franz is dramatic and hates art.

My son, Franz, is turning out to be a little bit dramatic. He’s eight, but already he knows, accepts and embraces his identity as an actor. I’d like to take credit (blame?) but I’m pretty sure he was born this way.  

Example, Scene One:

ME: So, Franz, there’s a school play coming up. The Jungle Book. Why don’t you audition?


FRANZ: Are you crazy?


ME: Why? You like acting and stuff.


FRANZ: Because the only thing that second graders can do is this ridiculous singing and dancing.


ME: Well, you’re good at singing and dancing.


FRANZ: I know I’m good at it. But my heart is with ACTING.

KEALOHA: Too bad they’re not doing “Death of a Salesman”.




Example, Scene Two:


Yesterday, Kealoha and I decided to take the kids out on a Family Date. We had lunch at Red Lobster where the kids said the ambiance was nice, and they liked the lobsters in the fish tank waiting for their death, but the food was just okay.

Then we took them to Meijer Gardens to look at Christmas tree lights and sculptures and their train set.


The kids took off like they were teenagers and desperate to get away from Kealoha and I. We followed them like good parent-stalkers.


After looking at all the trees and claiming which tree was ours (Moxie went with the Canadian one because of all the owls; Franz chose the Scandinavian one because of the ships on it; I got the Victorian one because it was behind glass and had old-fashioned stuff; Kealoha chose the African one because of the weird ornaments on a baobab tree)…


Wait. That was a long parenthetical. What the hell was I saying?


Oh! After looking at the trees and walking through the green house area in search of birds, we finished off the day by checking out the sculptures in their special room.


I guess this was an Art Prize exhibit. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a plaster of Paris sculpture of a pair of legs with another pair of legs fused on top so it looked like a giant X. Franz was incensed and said the following REALLY LOUD, so a group of parents could overhear.


FRANZ: Oh, Jeez. Oh, come on!

ME: What’s the problem?


FRANZ: Man, I hate art! They’re always showing naked people and I really don’t want to see that. I mean, it’s not appropriate!

ME: It is appropriate. The artists are trying to get you to think and to see that the human body is beautiful and a work of art. It’ll expand your brain.


FRANZ: No. I don’t WANT my brain expanded or whatever. Arrrrgh!



He pointed to a naked man hanging upside down here. I noticed the man’s penis seemed to defy gravity. I sorta wanted to look at it a little longer. I mean, wouldn't the penis flop the other way? Like pointing to his head? I needed time to figure that out. Art really gets you thinking, I guess.

Zhang Dali piece at Meijer Gardens


FRANZ: I don’t want to see that! Oh, Jeez. Look at that! Man. It’s like...I don’t want to see naked people. I especially don’t want to see YOU naked, Ma.



I turned fifty shades of red on that one. I can’t blame him. I don’t really want to see me naked either. I once saw my mom naked, back in the seventies, when women were ‘natural’. And the sight of all that hair… * shiver *



Anyway. We made it through the exhibit. Franz was emotionally scarred, but I figure it’s good for him. Moxie said she liked art and naked people because she wants to be a photographer and you have to like that stuff.


Kealoha and I walked with our kids through the drizzle of a late December day. We held their hands. We laughed. We embarrassed them. They embarrassed us. And I’ve never felt so grateful to have all of them with me.


On a lighter note, I would pay big money to see the 2nd Grade class put on “Death of a Salesman”. I mean, now, THAT would be art.