Sunday, May 15, 2011

Common Footing

I remember well the days when Christina wanted nothing more than to be different from me - mostly in her teenage years as she was finding her own footing.  My creativity and craftiness were not exemplary achievements on her horizon.

That was okay with me - just because I found them endlessly fulfilling did not mean my children had to.  I knew they would find their own pursuits.  But at the same time that she was scoffing at my life, she was bemoaning the fact that her father, brother and I had all the talent in the family and she had none. This went on for some time.  Frequently.

Now, this was from a child who exhibited her own talents in many ways.  When she was in the sixth grade, she created a wonderful ceramic bowl which I held my breath about when she was deciding who to give it to. The inside is as interesting as the glaze on the outside - pressed clay forms the bowl shape and the glaze is darker in the minute cracks than on the surface.  Clay flower buds lay inside as if dropped in the bowl while they were gathered.  I love this bowl and that it was molded by Christina's hands.

I still have her little paper canoe, made for an elementary school Thanksgiving project many years ago which sports a campfire in its center.  We still share a chuckle about that.  If I remember right, she just wanted the occupants to be warm.

When she was in her late teens, I was working in the studio and she mentioned again about her lack of talent in relation to the rest of the family.  I decided enough was enough and gave her a drawing project to tackle along side me.  The more she drew, the better it became and her confidence soared.

I never heard disparaging remarks about her 'lack of talent' again.

Christina's first oil painting  5/11
Now it is a decade or so later and I have a huge warm afghan she made me to cuddle in and her drawing on my wall.  Since this spring, she is working side by side with me in my studio.  It has been wonderful to explore painting together.  We learn much from each other.  Sometimes I feel I learn more from her than she does from me.  I may teach her technique and new ways to observe what we normally take for granted, but she teaches me how to embrace and share a common bond that enhances our relationship in a new way.

Mostly, I just like to do things with her and that is all that matters.