Mother Daughter Tradition // The Tradition Series

Friday, May 8

This weekend is Mother's Day, and my mom and sisters and I are headed to the most adorable spa on the central coast of California to celebrate (you can read about our weekend here). You may think that sounds pampering, but really it's a kick-butt-work-your-socks-off kind of weekend! We will pretty much be eating healthy (and yummy) food, going to 5-6 workout classes a day (yoga, zumba, dance, pilates, etc.), hiking through the Santa Barbara mountains, and just enjoying one another's company. My aunts and cousins are coming too, so it will be so perfect! I tell my family I get my workouts in for the entire year, haha! Speaking of Mother's Day, the sweet Marina submitted a post about a tradition she has with her mom!! I thought it would be fun to share today...enjoy!

Bonjour! I'm Marina, a (soon to be married!) American who now lives and works in Paris. I like museums and Mexican food and Michigan. Garlands in Paris is where I write about playing in museums, with a focus on creativity and imagination. I celebrate the little things in life that, like art and friendship, have "no survival value; rather [they are some] of those things which give value to survival" (C.S. Lewis).

An ocean currently separates me from my mom, so when we get to see each other, it's a kind of a big deal. Without meaning to, we have started a tradition of visiting museums during our visits. Fine art, it turns out, is an awesome backdrop for talking about life with my mama.

I live in Paris, so when my mom comes to visit me, there are quite a few choices of locations to get our art-fix, including special destinations that must always be visited.

I am a professional museum educator, but my passion for art is nothing compared with my mom's. The way she engages with objects is full of curiosity and a desire for connection. She finds such utter joy in the beauty of creation. Walking through an exhibition of kimonos, she stared hard at one particular garment before wondering, "How must it make you feel to wear that? How would you move? How would you hold yourself?" She couldn't look at such a beautiful object without fully engaging with it, absorbing all its luscious details, and letting her imagination run wild. When I am with my mom in a museum, I learn how to not only look at art, but how to look at life.

Art can also spark some epic conversations about life. Art and artifacts are witnesses to the human quest for meaning and the passage of time. Surrounded by such gravity, it is easy to sink into beautiful conversations about life, love, loss, the past, the future... During my last visit with my mom this winter, we made our pilgrimage to the wall of Iznik tiles in a dark corner of the Louvre. In that beautiful, calm place, we talked about my upcoming wedding. She showered me with lots mama wisdom about what it looks like to love someone well. As quickly as the conversation had taken a turn for the serious, it became instantly silly when we decided that my wedding cake will be based on those sumptuous Iznik tiles!

As I wander through museums with my mom, I am always aware of how precious our time together is. The extraordinary art around us serves as a perfect metaphor for the treasure that is a leisurely afternoon strolling with my mom.

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