My older son usually won’t put up with posing for pictures, but he is the one who told me, “Look, I match the table cloth.” So I snapped the picture. I included the description next to the painting in case he wanted to talk about the painting later on. Which he did not.

We went to the Andrew Wyeth museum because I wanted to go. Normally I don’t force the kids to do museums (I once let the kids play on their phones while I walked through the halls of the Smithsonian, which I may or may not go to parenting hell for.) But their dad was in town, and he wanted to go.

One of the reasons I married him is that he always finds interesting stuff. And I’m sure a reason he married me is that I’ll do anything he plans. So in the current iteration of post-divorce life he lives with us about five days out of each month during which we revert to the best of times.

The paintings were incredible. And, in case you are thinking of going to this inconvenient-to-anyone-outside-West-Philly museum, go in the summer because the building and surrounding river banks are lovely.

When I saw Wyeth’s paintings of farms I got sad.

For years after being at the World Trade Center I got a quick, sick feeling in my stomach when I heard a plane overhead. Now instead of planes it’s pigs.

The best thing about having the Ex come visit is I can make the kids go to a museum under the pretense of helping them maintain a good relationship with their dad. If it were just me I’d feel guilt making them spent their time learning stuff I want to learn about because it’s not unschooling if I’m unschooling myself and dragging the boys behind me.

Midway my older son said he doesn’t have time for the third floor. He did two floors. He’s done. He has to do physics.

I think he knew he was going to say that, which is why he posed for pictures. I said, “We waited all morning for you to finish physics. You don’t have to do it now.”

“I have to show my work. I forgot. I have to redo everything.”

I went ballistic in my head. I have read a lot about showing work. Some kids don’t just do it. I said, “Why? Who cares? You homeschool. We pay a tutor. That rule doesn’t apply.”

“When you take the AP test you can get partial credit so you have to show your work.”

Are we slaves to testing? I think the answer is yes. I think the litmus test is, does your kid skip out of art museums in the name of getting a 5 on an AP test.

Maybe the best thing that came of the trip to the art museum is that I’m posting a picture of my older son instead of my younger son. Surely everyone in the world has noticed that I post more of my younger son.

It’s impossible to keep things even when you’re a mom. I read that all moms have favorites and all kids in the family agree who the favorite is – even the favorite. But all moms will answer that they have different favorites for different things.

My younger son is my favorite for taking pictures – he’s a ham, and he’s always doing fun things, and he dresses up like he’s going for a modeling audition every day of his life. My older son is the one I’d want to be locked in a room with for an undetermined amount of time – he’s hilarious and understanding and we see the world in similar ways.

Wait. Did I just show my work?

I just realized the idea of showing your work is a fundamentally intriguing one: it’s letting someone how you think and what’s driving you. Which means showing your work is a sort of social skill because you do it to connect with someone.