Thursday I visited the Huntington Library in beautiful Pasadena. Known for it’s collection of rare and historic books and art, the Huntington also has some of the most beautiful gardens in Los Angeles.
Last time I came here was about three years ago. My babies were little. We spent the whole time at the children’s garden. This was the first time I was able to go by myself and check out other parts of the grounds.
One of the most breathtaking was the Chinese garden. The moment I stepped in I was hit with an overpowering scent of fresh flowers. I found myself wishing my husband, our resident gardener, was here to appreciate it. He’d have loved the painstaking attention to detail. It was so crisp – so thoughtfully organized from the bridge to the wood carved artwork – it made me wonder why I didn’t take time to appreciate places like this more often.
And yet, despite its beauty, a bit of melancholy accompanied me this day. Call it the kids being back in school, or the holiday let down, or maybe just a lack of sleep I’ve encountered this month (die, caffeine, die!) but I just felt antsy.
I wanted to be there – I wanted to appreciate all the art around me – but my eyes kept darting over to the objects that ring the deepest in my heart.
Yeah. Those darn little four-wheel strollers. (Well, some of them were the three-wheel-pivot-$600-costs-as-much-as-a-Mercedes-car-payment-L.A. strollers, but I am more of an Umbrella K-Mart gal. You get my point.)
I don’t feel done with the kids.
I know I’m 42.
Rex is totally over it.
When I think about how much work it would be, and how much less freedom I’d have, and how much less time I’d give to my own grade schoolers, I know it’s the right decision to stop.
Perhaps, when I really dig deep, I want the opportunity for a fresh start. I want to hold that “perfect” newborn in my arms and enjoy those precious few years before diagnoses hit… before reality hits… before I started worrying about “what could be” and simply enjoyed every little coo, sigh and milestone in the present.
I know that nothing in life is perfect, and there’s no guarantee a new child would escape any issues. In fact, there’s a decent chance that he or she would come against something because that’s what life does to all of us: it hits us in one way or another. There’s no escaping it.
That aside, though, I want the magic back.
Of course I have the magic with my little ones at home now, and a baby simply grows up also, but the truth is, these children are the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen. Call me a proud collector, but I wouldn’t mind acquiring a few more prized possessions.
Anyone else feel like that?
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4 thoughts on “My Favorite Art Pieces: Huntington Library”
I totally agree. There is nothing more amazing and beautiful and miraculous then our own children. And we made them! How crazy is that!? I often think “I LOVE THIS AGE OR MOMENT SO MUCH AND I WANT TO PRESERVE THEM FOREVER LIKE THIS!!”, but then they go and change…and get even more priceless. Darn them!
Those days are special -to get out by yourself and take in quiet beauty and contemplate your life. I think you said it right there- a fresh start. It’s what babies represent, yet we can make fresh starts, too. Hard work though. Just like a baby. 🙂 Give birth to yourself.
Next time you head to Pasadena, you better call me.
Oh, I sooooo understand and we are the same age. It is hard to let go of that stage in life…(I still have some good baby names i never used….) I have come to the same conclusion as you but it is a difficult one that I still wrestle with. I also feel like I know so much more now than I did, especially when I had my oldest. Sometimes I wish I had gotten an earlier start on having kids!!!
@ Daria – Thank you. I know you feel like I do about the kids.
@ JCK – Yes, I’ve often thought about how we need to give birth to ourselves. Right now I’m still in the moaning/groaning portion. I need an epideral.
@Margaret – So glad to reconnect with you. We are so much alike. I owe you a phone call.