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Does Your Child Look Like You? (Or The Absent Parent?)

It was a gloomy weekend in NJ. I made the best of it and took JD to a Warhol exhibit at The Montclair Art Museum. The entire collection is focused on cars and if you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, you know JD is obsessed with all things cars. On the twenty-minute drive to the museum I told him that we were going to a place with cool pictures on the wall and that they were all of cars. “Can I play with them?” he asked. I told him, no, but followed it up by telling him we were going on a scavenger hunt for different colored cars and to count all of the wheels we saw. He got very excited.

Once inside, we happily toured the collection. JD was curious and asked me question after question. An older gentleman told me it was wonderful I brought my son to the exhibit and more parents should come out with their kids—“and get off of the couch!” he barked. As a single parent, I really appreciated this. I don’t have someone in the house with me telling me I’m doing a good job with JD, so this stranger’s pat on the back felt admittedly good.

Check out our trip to an old car show.

I was surprised to see model cars on display, since I thought it was just images. JD was so excited to see the cars in little plastic boxes. “It’s a very colorful car,” he said. There was also a flat screen on the wall playing a DVD of Warhol painting racecars. JD actually sat on the floor and watched. Next, came a scene of a live race. “Whoa, Mommy! It’s like Queen and Chick!” Then we went upstairs to the bright children’s lab and JD colored in a car using crayons and a stencil.


We couldn't leave without a trip to the museum’s store. JD selected a box of mini crayons (and when we got home he drew a picture of “a mommy and a boy at the ‘newseum’”).

I also let him select a print to frame and hang in his room. He chose a Warhol—a blue car with a lady in a red dress standing beside it (cars and girls—a preview of JD, 16). Afterwards we sat in the garden and had some pretzels and juice—and discussed a large head sculpture.

“Where’s that man’s legs, mommy?” JD asked.

“Where do you think his WHOLE BODY IS, bud?” I asked.

“I think…in the ocean with the fish,” he said. Why is that little boy sleeping on his head?”

“Why do you think?” I asked.

“It’s naptime like at school, but he doesn’t have a blanket,” JD said.

A woman and a teenage girl walked by and I asked if she could take a picture of JD and me with my phone. (Single parents: Just ask people to take photos. I do it all of the time, hahah! You need photos of you and your kid!) She agreed and snapped many. When she handed the phone back to me, she asked with a smile: “What is your relation to the child?”

I was a bit startled. I tripped over my tongue.

“He’s my son,” I said, smiling.

“He’s got beautiful blond hair,” she said and smiled, then walked on.

JD looks a lot like his dad. The hair, the nose, the legs, the little folds of skin under his eyes when he smiles. But, I think he looks like me, too. I think he is a gorgeous child inside...and out.

Do you take your kids to museums? Does your child look like his other parent? Have people ever asked your relation to your child? Please share.

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Full disclosure: This was NOT a press trip. I support the arts! You should, too.