Life and Art

I said yes.

To coloring with her before school.

We agreed to the coffee table, where the crayons already were from the previous day or two.

And I learned.

I learned about her energy that perked up in preparation.

I gave into her a little.

I put my phone down.  

I resisted the urge for a (third) cup of coffee.

And I gave in some more. 

She thumbed through to find a black piece of construction paper.  And just as I figured she was going to take control of this Crayon Fest, she presented it to me, for me to tear off all by myself.  “Go ahead, you can do it”, was what her eyes told me.

I tore it off.  Neatly.  My gaze was met with her approval.

And I reached for the white crayon.

She had drawn a picture the day before —white crayon on black paper— and she was really excited for me to see that it worked.  

And while I drew, she pulled off a blue piece for herself.

She was disappointed in the other white crayon so we switched.

And she began to draw her flower, with the sun, and the rainbow, and the rain and the grass.  

She asked for advice about colors of the petals, of the sun.  So readily she took my recommendations.

She was vulnerable, and open.

I learned that she really does trust me.  That when she questions almost every answer I give throughout the day, there is a deeper certitude with which she soaks in my responses and reactions to her.  To life.     

Her mind at work, she captivated me.

The way she held her crayon, searched for the next.

The way she knew just what she wanted. 

She paused intermittently to check up on my work, and to ask questions of why and how and then she went right back to work.  

While I tend to crave quiet while I work, while I tend to want to help her quiet her mind, I learned about her day at school the day prior.  I learned about who she played with and what so-and-so did, and how it made her feel.  The kind of stuff we talk about usually, but in this setting it flowed more freely.

In those 15 minutes, I saw her art and her life through her perspective — though they really are one in the same, no?


Growing up is an art.  

Listening is an art.  

Loving is an art. 

Coloring is an art.

Learning is an art.

Parenting is an art. 

Life is art.

 © Houseman 2013