Want to know the truth? Veda usually doesn’t love to make art. (I KNOW!! Is she really my child?!?) She’s not a typical kid who be handed a box of crayons and you don’t hear a peep for hours on end. In fact, she told me the other day: “Mama, I really don’t like drawing. I like EVERYTHING ELSE (said loudly). And food.” I sighed (inaudibly) and said: “I know, babe. I’m really glad you like so much other stuff!”
What she does love is telling stories (like her writer dad). She tells long, elaborate stories that involve things changing into other things, people going to far away lands or perhaps outer space, what they ate, who they saw, what they were thinking, etc. Her imagination runs wild in her tall tales and she only needs slight prompts (“Really? And then what?”, “Is that right?”) to keep going… and going… and going.
I accept this. I don’t push.
Today I wanted to see if we could combine drawing and her stories. I asked her if she’d like to paint together and we donned our aprons. She chose some paint colors, made some big swoops and swirls on the paper and then I put the paint aside and started asking her what she thought the swirls could be. Immediately she started telling a story, coming up with some fun stuff — a dragon with roller skates and a helmet, a flamingo eating a gigantic fish, a turtle wearing glasses, a pelican flying over the sun, a rocket ship blasting through stars with her sitting on top… and I helped transform the swirls into what she described with a few additional drawn lines. She did what I was hoping and made more lines on her own, too, to illustrate her vision.
When her dad came home from work, the drawings were the first thing she wanted to show him. She was really proud of them. I listened to her describe them from the kitchen where I was making dinner, and I smiled to myself. She’ll probably still reach for the play dough or the story books before she ever grabs for the colored pencils, but at least we had fun. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll illustrate a book she writes. :)