Monday, April 6, 2009


I think I was lied to.

All the time when I was growing up everyone told me I was creative.

"You're such an artist."

"You take after your Grandma Joan." (An accomplished watercolor, and oil painter.)

So of course I grew up believing I was creative, and had an eye for the aesthetic. . . I ran across something from my childhood recently that's made me question it all:

Are you joking me? This creature of indistinguishable animal origin, in want of hind legs and sloping noticably to its left?

I've tried using carbon-dating to determine the time period of the birth of this sad creature. The best I can recall is we had a pottery unit in art class when I was in second grade. But I can't imagine anyone holding on to this ugly thing for that long. I also took a ceramics summer program class after 5th grade as well. I would have expected better results by that age. . . but maybe that's where it came from.

But who looking at that would tell me I was talented? Maybe it was better looking than any other owl-dog (as Jeremy has dubbed him) that the other 5th grade kids were making. Still not exactly an impressive work of art.

The truth of the matter is-- I do consider myself a creative/artistic person.

So am I creative as an adult because of some innate ability I always posessed or is that a product of all the classes I was enrolled in over the years? And why exactly was I enrolled in those classes? Was it because one of my parents decided I was going to be the "artistic child" of the family. Or was it because of a behavior I displayed, perhaps merely an interest--not even necissarily an apptitude? If it was an innate ability would I be the creative person I am today if I had never been encouraged do develop it as a child?

It makes me wonder about how we raise our children. It makes me wonder about what activities and hobbies we will encourage our boys in. Will we encourage them in the same activities so that they can participate together, or will we encourage them in different ways so that they can be "individuals"?

One thing's for sure--I'm not enrolling them in 6-year old football camp. Sorry to all you football lovers out there, but remember I'm the one that is going to have to sit through every single practice and game. BORING!

Maybe that's all our children's talents boil down to: the things that the idea of watching, complimenting, sitting through, listening to, and displaying were least offensive to the parents.

I guess we'll see. . .


Anonymous said...

Don't ever throw that "art work" away. I'll treasure it on my shelf. I sometimes wonder if I have artistic talent, but no one ever enrolled me in art classes.
:( And I KNOW I would have been a fabulous ballet dancer, and maybe I would have been a thinner teenager, but my Mom said "Dancing is no career for an LDS woman." So I had no ballet lessons. And by the way, football games may be boring, but if your kids learn tennis, be prepared for gut-wrenching spectating, and your oldest child just might tell you to go home and stop watching them!!

Jeremy said...

Long live the owl-dog!


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