I think it was her picture on the side of Cinzetti’s, an eat-til-you-die Italian buffet restaurant north of Denver, that sparked an intense conversation about the Mona Lisa on the way to church this morning.
Daughter: “Momma, I just saw the lady from my school! I just saw the lady from my school! Her picture was on that building!!”
Me: “I’m sorry, love. I didn’t see her.”
Son, flatly: “That was Mona Lisa.”
Daughter: “Momma, I saw Mona Lisa on that building! She was at my school!”
Son: “Mona Lisa is dead. She wasn’t at your school.”
(My son the buzz-kill.)
Me: “Honey, the Mona Lisa was painted in the 1500s, that’s like 500 years ago. She was painted by a famous artist named Leonardo da Vinci.”
Daughter, to her brother: “We learned about her!” Then, to me: “Is she still alive?”
Son: “She’s dead.”
Me: “No, in fact, no one was quite sure who she was, she was a model for the painter.”
Daughter: “Did she go to heaven when she died?”
Me: “Hm…I don’t know…”
Son: “Nobody knew if she knew Jesus.”
(My son the theologian.)
Daughter: “I’m going to find out. Momma, when you die and go to heaven, can you ask God if Mona Lisa is there?”
Me: “Um…sure. How will I get the answer back to you?”
Daughter: “Just tell God, and he will put it in me (exact words) whether she is there or not. Then when I get there, we can see her together. Was Mona Lisa a momma?”
Son: “Who knows. When you look at her painting, her eyes look at you wherever you are.”
(My son the smarty-pants.)
Me: “Just like Momma’s do. I see you wherever you are.”
I adjust the rearview mirror, gesturing with my fingers to my eyes and back to the mirror, where my son was looking at me.
“I’m watching you. Don’t try anything naughty.”
Both kids erupted in giggles and my son ducked out of view.
Love those stinkers.