The Wisdom of a Child

Nussbaum’s Listen

Yesterday morning, I woke up (like usual), got my cup of coffee (also like usual) and went to work on my computer. There I was writing up a storm, when all of a sudden my laptop started making weird noises and froze. Then, after some other weird and scary things happened, I called Dell support. After talking to several very nice men in India for two hours, it turns out my hard drive failed. The big “F” word.

I started panicking, especially when I was told that the part and a technician wouldn’t come until Friday. Then there’s the part of how often I back up. Don’t ask.

It was an awful day, I was filled with anxiety. I just wanted to cry. I went to the MPL to work and found out I only had an hour limit. I need way more than an hour to work. So thankfully, my girl, the Greek Goddess Liz George lent me her laptop until mine was repaired. Still, I was feeling low.

That’s when my wise 5-year-old said, “Mommy, can we go look at art at the Montclair Art Museum?” It’s not something we do often at all. In fact, we’ve only been there together on her preschool field trip. I was already behind in my work, but something about the way she looked at me made me drop everything and say, “Let’s go.”

The hour we spent walking through the galleries was exactly what I needed. Hand in hand, my daughter and I looked and discussed the art. New Media: New Forms exhibit was our favorite, especially Valerie Hunh’s sculpture Fingerprint Bureau, which has LED lights and colorful painted fingerprints inside an antique chest of drawers. She was allowed to pull open the drawers and get a peek inside. She loved it. I loved  Wilson’s portrait of Don Draper—swoon!

At the end of the hour, we left the museum and stopped at Tom Nussbaum’s Listen sculpture on the lawn. We stopped to look at it closely. It’s one of my favorites, but yesterday it had a much deeper meaning for me. Listen. One little word, but so important. We headed back home and I got back to work. I felt renewed and recharged. The day’s problems didn’t seem so bad anymore. Sometimes the wisdom of a child, is what we need. While she didn’t understand the magnitude of having a hard drive fail, she knew that it was time to unwind. And she knew just the perfect place for me to do it.

MAM’s New Media: New Forms exhibit is showing until July 22. I highlight recommend it. But more importantly, I highly recommend being in the moment with your child more often. It soothes the soul.

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  1. Georgette, that’s a beautiful essay. thanks for sharing.
    And yes, being more in the moment is key to happiness.

  2. It must be something about this week. I have not slept for the last week waiting for some news about my Mother’s health. When we got the “all clear” yesterday I decided instead of worrying about the future and “what ifs’ I would enjoy this day-this week when the news was good.

    We played on the slip-n-slide, had way too many popsicles, colored Shrinky Dinks and I just enjoyed my kids.

    When my mechanic called to tell me they found another problem with my car (gone for 3 days now) I just said, “Ok, can you fix it?” of course he could because it is a car. Things like cars and hardrives can be fixed. That is not always the case with people.

    Thanks again for the reminder GG 🙂

  3. roo,

    Liz is a Greek goddess.

    Annette and Holly,

    Thanks for the nice comments. Very true. 🙂

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