Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Art of Childhood

Proud Grandmother Alert

WARNING: The following may contain more sweetness and light than some may be able to tolerate. Diabetics and those with dental or periodontal disease may be at special risk.

Cynics and those with an addiction to following the daily drama of "As The Anglican World Turns" may be prone to an outbreak of something near the experience of joy, which they may not immediately recognize and may come as something of a shock. Those with high blood pressure may be at risk.

Proceed with caution. You have been duly warned.

Last night I had supper with my grandkiddo's (oh, yes, and their parents, of course) and then went to the Art Show at Mackie's Elementary School.

This is Mackie's self-portrait.

I asked her, "How did you do that? Did you look in a mirror or do it from memory?"

"Oh, I was just thinking of myself in a happy place and remembered what I felt like."

"Was that difficult?"


"Really? Why?"

"Well, because other people see you in a different way than you see yourself."


Here, she was going for an expression of emotion.

"So, what were you feeling when you painted this?"

"What do you think, Nana?"

"Hmmm . . . looks very light and airy to me."

"Good job, Nana! I was thinking about floating in the pool, looking up at the sky and thinking that Daddy needs to cut the lawn."

"Yes, I see."

This is her attempt at sculpting

"Well, Mackie, this is pretty green."

"Right. It's beautiful, don't you think?"

"Oh yes, absolutely. What were you thinking when you put it together?"

"I was thinking of what would happen if a grape evolved into an animal."

"Really?! What a funny thought!"

"No, Nana. It was very serious. Don't you see what it is?"

"Oh, dear. I'm so sorry. I'm afraid I don't."

"It's a grapeasaurus. You might not have recognized it."

"I didn't, actually."

"It's okay, Nana. It's extinct."

Her baby sister Abby was her biggest fan. It was an hour after her normal bedtime, but she was a real champ.

"What color is this?" asked Mackie.

"BRUE!" exclaimed Abby

"Right! And, what color is THIS?"


"Good job, Abby! That's right! It's PURPLE!"

(Did I mention that Abby is going to be two in August?)

This one is entitled: 'MacKenna likes to look at dinosaurs'

And, indeed, she does.

There was a full house at the Art Show - proud parents and grandparents were standing in long lines to 'oooh and aaah' at the work our children had done. It was really quite impressive.

I also found myself delighted that, in these uncertain economic times, her school has not cut the arts from their budget.

A concert is planned in the middle of June featuring children playing their instruments, singing and dancing.

The art of childhood is dependent upon the stimulation of an active imagination.

Compromise that, especially in the midst of war, and you compromise the art of being human.

Indeed, it may well be that, in these days of gas prices hovering around $4.00 a gallon and in the midst of war, the best antidote to the toxicity of our times is a child's whimsy and fantasy.


DianeNM said...

Thank you for celebrating the magic of grandmothering and the delightful creativity and whimsy of childhood. Right...there is no better antidote to the ills of the world than to hear that sweet child voice speaking words of love to their beloved grandmamas. I say of prayer of thanks each day that I have been granted the great privilege of being Jajja to my, now 20 month old, Safia. What joy...what wonderful joy! Diane

FranIAm said...

Beautiful!!! Mackie, Abby and the art! I love the art.

Plus her insights on how she drew her self-portrait!

And yes - a great antidote to so much toxicity.


Lisa Fox said...

Works for me! And, yes, a delightful break from Battlestar Anglicana.

David said...

Thank-you Elizabeth+ Mackie and Abby for the charm and laighter with my morning coffee.
A couple more years and I could see Elizabeth and Mackie a tag team- sharing the pulpit.

'The art of childhood is dependent upon the stimulation of an active imagination.' A lot more than just the childhood of art, dear friend.