Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thanks Georgia O'Keeffe!

Several weeks ago my dad took the kids to the new north library branch. They checked out a bunch of books, including a large coffee table book on the works of Georgia O'Keeffe. Kaylin was very excited about that book and spent a lot of time looking through it. Gene and I had both flipped through it a bit and it seemed excellent. Kaylin was inspired to lay in the yard and paint close-ups of flowers. Gotta love that!

One evening the neighbor kids were over. The boys were playing basketball outside and the girls were looking at the O'Keeffe book. I was laughing to myself that Kaylin was forcing the little girl to appreciate art when I heard the girls giggling and giggling. What on earth? Turns out the book included a few nude photos O'Keeffe's photographer husband took. The photos were beautiful and artistic, not vile and pornographic, but they were still nudes and quite surprising to the little girls. I teased Kaylin a bit that if she continues to take art classes in college she'll most likely draw or paint nudes. I tried to minimize the shock and then we concentrated on another photo of O'Keeffe fully dressed, but with hairy armpits exposed. Ewwwww. I didn't take the book away because the few photos were not sexual or disgusting, they were beautiful representations of the human body. I explained that to the girls, acted like it was no big deal and they went back to looking at flower and cloud paintings.

It suddenly occurred to me that Little Girl's mom would NEVER understand what had just happened. She's excellent at "lipreading" but to get from her young daughter or even from me that the "naked pictures" were in an art book and not porn? I better write her a note explaining what happened! I was searching for pen and paper when I realized that the neighbor lady thinking her kid was looking at porn at our house wasn't such a bad thing. I left it alone and said nothing and wrote nothing. That was several weeks ago and the kids who for years have come over nearly every day and usually beat me into the house when I pull in from work have barely been over and never once in the house. At least not while I'm at home! Bwa ha ha ha ha! If thinking we allow our kids to look at porn or just carelessly leave it about the house is what it takes to give us some peace from those kids, so be it!

Back to the book... The next morning I saw Kaylin trying to cram the O'Keeffe book into her backpack to take to school. Absolutely not! "Why? I want to show my friends her art." Yes, darlin' and then the boys will get wind of the nude photos and they will tear apart the $$$ book, it will be confiscated and I'll have to make a special trip to the office to retrieve it and pay big bucks to the library to replace it. NO WAY that book is going to school! Fortunately, Kaylin saw the sense in that argument. I still made her show me the book every morning before school until we returned it to the library because I KNOW that exact chain of events would have happened, probably along with a suspension.

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