Trial & Error- Tales From the Edge of Parenting – To Be… Art, or Not to Be… Art
As parents we all believe we've birthed the most brilliant, artistic, funny & amazingly cute/handsome children in the world, and that same world would be better off right now just giving us some sort of Nobel Prize for our parenting future savers-of-the-world. Unfortunately, most times it doesn't work like that.
For some parents, there comes a point I've referred to in the past about the point "cute" is no longer "cute" and they realize their kid is just another average, ho-hum child. For some parents, genuinely talented children are screwed up by family/friends/members of the opposite sex. For other parents, those one-in-a-billion types, their child goes on to genuinely change the world (for better or worse). Wherever we end up on that spectrum as parents, we all start at the same point... with a blank canvas on which to put our early imprints. From there genetics, upbringing & determination decide where they'll go.
For many kids it'll take the better part of a lifetime just to figure out what we're really on this planet to accomplish. Some may never find it. Others find it early in life. We see or read all the time about the child prodigy. We see another 11-year old graduating from college, we see a 16-month old swimming like a fish, and we see piano prodigies blowing our minds. What makes their abilities that much greater than my child's refrigerator artwork?
OK, so maybe artwork is a little more subjective, which is exactly why it boggles my mind to even consider a child's artwork something other than scribbles on a page. I read a wonderful article today about a 3-year old autistic child whose paintings are fetching thousands of dollars.
This is more than just a sympathy card, there are actually people buying her art for the "art" in it. Ladies and gentlemen, there's a reason there's not a Smithsonian Museum of Children Art. Anyone that pretends to see real genius in a child's (or any professional's) art is the same as someone pretending to note an oak flavor, with a hint of berry-infused smokiness in their glass of wine. NO!! It's fermented wine.
To think that a child at 3-years old is an art prodigy makes about as much sense as depending on Mega Millions for your retirement plan. My kids have been bringing home artwork for years, and I admit that I looked real hard to see if I could decipher any hidden talent. So far, not so much. At least not in the art world. I give each drawing its due-respect, but I'm not calling the Met in NYC to set up a showing time for either of my boys. The good stuff spends a week or two on display on the fridge and then it's off to storage (NOTE- storage refers to garbage for most drawings).