Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Designs

Just Designs

"Do you have an idea for today?"

"Nope. I have no ideas."

"No ideas?"


"Come on, there are an infinite number of ideas."

He thought about it some more. "You could do designs like this," he suggested, pointing to his own art on the table. He's been participating in a basic art class as part of his after school program. I've been very impressed with the art he's brought home. Yesterday it was an okapi, the giraffe/horse/zebra looking animal from the Ituri Rainforest in the Congo. Around the okapi he had drawn lots of free designs adding a little of his own flair to it.

"Just designs?"

"You can do an American flag. You can do lightning bolts. That can be your snack sack today."

"Just designs?"

"You can do any designs you want. I don't need to tell you which designs. You can copy some of mine if you want. Do you want to?"

"Sure." I got started but I must admit that it felt uncomfortable for me to feel free to be creative. I started with the web in the corner and just tried to think freely.

"Do you know how to do lightning bolts?" he asked as my first one came out horrible. "I can do lightning bolts really good," he boasted.

I tried a little harder to think about what a lightning bolt is supposed to look like. On my second try he said, "Yeah, that one looks better."

I kept at it, filling the sack with different sorts of designs.

"Oh, cool! That's pretty good!" he said when he saw it finished. "See what I'm talking about? You just get better and better," he said mimicking me since I told him something similar earlier in the morning about his own drawing abilities. "See what I mean? A design can become a beautiful piece of artwork."

"That's right," I agreed. "Can you find your name?"

He couldn't. He looked and looked, then finally I had to point it out to him. He was thrilled that not only was it hidden, but that it was written three times. He loved that! He smiled and kept saying, "Cool!" as he studied the letters in his name.

Just before we left, he ran upstairs and came down hiding two of our favorites behind his back, the Cheese Spider and the Panther Set In Flames. He slipped them into his backpack trying to avoid eye contact with me.

"Why are you bringing those to school?" I asked casually.

"I want to show my friends what you drew already."

"Did you think I wouldn't want you to take them to school?"


"They are yours so you can do what you want with them."

"I'm just bringing them to class so my teacher can put them up," he explained, still unsure if I approved.

"That's okay, they're yours," I assured him. Although I was okay at the start for these to be tossed, now I'm a bit more sentimental about them. There are a lot fond moments attributed to these sacks. Plus, I love how excited he gets when we go through them from time to time. But they are his and if he wants to take them to class or give them away like he did with yesterday's Perry, then I suppose that's okay too. We have so many now and there's no end in sight.

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