That was the sound of one of my most humiliating parenting moments. Trying to be as cultured as humanly possible the six of us spent a couple of hours meandering through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It is just beautiful there. We walked through the Botanical Gardens. And I took some pictures of the animals and flowers we saw there.

We strolled by the Japanese Gardens and admired what we could of them from outside the gate. Too cheap and having too tight a schedule to spend an appropriate amount of time there we just couldn’t come up with the excuse to pay the entrance fees. So I took pictures from the outside.

And then we meandered over to a museum of modern art and would have gone inside to enjoy their free zone too (for the same reasons that we had to admire the Japanese Gardens from beyond the garden gate) however we were impinged by a moment of parental degredation just outside of the building and decided that we had better not darken the doors of the vestibule even.

First I took this picture because, well, who doesn’t want to take a picture of an enormous safety pin? I ask you? Who among you would not take a picture of this if you saw it?

And then, across the way, we noticed what looked like an enormous ball of foil.

It was, of course, a sculpture by someone whose name we did not have the pleasure of finding out because as we began to walk towards it our children ran to it with great excitement and began touching it. (Please note, this is out of doors and there were no noticeable signs and no ropes around it to signify that it should not be touched. Only after our five year old excitedly ran up to it, fondled its magnificent shininess and proceeded to attempt to kick it outside of the earths atmosphere, thus eliciting the loudest GONG! you have ever heard, did we happen to notice a small sign, approximately the size of a 3 x 5 card located almost behind the sculpture that said, in very small words, “Do not touch.”


As the GONG heard ’round the world massaged my eardrums I erupted into, “What on earth are you doing child?! Get over here. Do you know how many thousands of dollars this museum paid for this piece?” Interestingly a museum docent just so happened to be strolling by at the exact moment in which the inimitable little boy that I call my son happened to plant his foot onto the enormous work of art so the motherly tirade was met in the air with the dismayed, “DON’T DO THAT!!!!” of the museum representative, who then proceeded to run over to the piece, caress it, examine it, mutter and shake his head, and glare backwards at the downtrodden little rascal that was receiving a tongue lashing like never before.

This moment is right up there with the time that my first baby pooped in the local swimming pool, thus ending a birthday party where church members just so happened to be in attendance. Now that was a moment.

7 thoughts on “GONG!

  1. Thanks for the camera info. I’m looking and saving and dreaming:o)Ya wanna know what is more embarrassing than the incident you mentioned? When you go to the art museum with your four small children, your mother, and your artist brother and in spite of constant warnings from your brother and yourself to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING, your mother is reprimanded by a very snotty, uptight little man serving as docent and defender of all that is holy within the art world. Then the snotty little man follows you around glaring at not your offending mother but your four children who haven’t touched a thing and have been so very patient with this whole ordeal.

  2. Art is meant to be enjoyed. Sounds like your child was enjoying that particular work of art more than the docent was. 🙂 Have a safe trip home!

  3. Hey Nan, Your pictures are great! I actually dreamed that I was in CA with you and Sandy and all the kids last night. It was funny to wake up and look at the pictures…just wondering where I am since I was so vividly there in the quarters of my mind. Ha ha. Enjoy! I am a wee bit jealous!!!!Love you,Corrie

  4. Your pictures are great. And don’t worry when you get home you can do a school art project and recreate the art with foil. Then he can gong it all he wants. What a funny story.

  5. Girl! You are such a hoot!! I have just discovered your blog and love it! I am a pastor’s wife….much older than you… and have 2 adult sons who were much like yours many years ago and a husband who is a real character as well. Keep on keeping on…I’ll keep coming back for more. LOL!

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