Saturday, September 14, 2013

What To Do When Your Kid Can't Draw

Act #257:  Never stop nurturing a kid's creativity.

My kid is 6 years old. He's in first grade.  He drew this picture of a "fox" last week.  Exactly.  When I found out I was pregnant, I began daydreaming about lying belly-down with my future kindergartner drawing and coloring for hours and hours.  As a kid, I LOVED to draw. By the time I was my son's age, I was already awarded the "most creative" title, as well as a first place blue ribbon in my elementary school's talent competition.  So when my son began to show an interest in drawing, I was thrilled.  Not bad for a three year old.  But as the years went by, his drawings really didn't seem to get any more "realistic", or "refined".  Sometimes, he would ask me what I thought he drew and I would have no earthly idea.  One time, I guessed that his alien octopus was a plate of spaghetti.  With one gigantic meatball. 

My son can lose himself for hours in drawing.  In awful, intangible, incomprehensible detailed scratches of exquisite scenes.  Three-headed monsters, aliens he conjured up in his little brain.  Trees that came alive.  Little monkeys riding bicycles. Mommy as a superhero.  But most of the time, only he can tell what the pictures are.  So after a while, I showed my obligatory support, told him his pictures were cool and interesting, but secretly, I had resigned myself to the fact that I should probably start exposing him to music lessons or something else.  Clearly, I did not have a young Van Gogh on my hands.  And then one day, my husband came home with three large packs of drawing paper and pencils.  I asked him what they were for and he told me they were for our son.  But, have you seen the plate of spaghetti he drew, honey?  My husband went on to explain that he never wanted our son to stop drawing.  That it didn't matter whether or not he was good at it, but only that he loved it so much.  He always wanted to support and nurture him to do that which brought him joy.  And I never felt so tiny.  And I went straight to the fridge and taped up the world's most beautiful picture of a one-eyed alien octopus spaghetti monster EVER.

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