My boys were sitting and coloring in the balcony a couple of days ago…I walked in and looked at what they were drawing. Sid’s picture looked like random scribbles and Nish’s was all kinds of curvy lines in bold strokes and different colors. I walked over to the other side of the balcony but the picture still did not make sense to me. Then Nish looked up at me and asked in a voice full of excitement and anticipation, “You like what I drew? I am making this for you!” “Oh, it is so pretty” I replied, cringing instantly at the shallowness of my remark. I did not think it was pretty and I had no clue what it was. “What is it?” I finally asked. “it looks like a lot of pretty swirls” I added so as not to discourage him.
Sid looked at me. “It’s not swirls Aai!” he said indignantly. “Nish is drawing the playground and all the slides and the kids going down the slides”
“See this?” Nish asked, happy to explain. “That line is going up and it is me sitting on the swing. This one is Suraj going fast down a slide”
“My painting is motorbikes…so many of them. They are racing” said Sid. The two went back to their papers and as I sat and listened they created fascinating stories as they drew. Oblivious to my presence for the most part and graciously including me every now and then, the two drew more squiggles and lines…only this time they really did look pretty!
In a bit Sid started on another paper…more squiggles and frantic slashes of bright color on the paper. “Is that another motorbike race?” I asked. “No…just scribbling” he replied.
I marveled at their imagination, and their ability to keep it simple. Here I was looking for form and structure, ready to push my notions of art onto them, and they were on their own little happy adventure. They were happy to scribble for scribbling’s sake…it did not have to be something … it was about the process and not the product. When was the last time I was able to do that? Usually I am so focussed on the product that the process is lost on me…a blur while I treat to meet a target of some kind.
With kids, it is so much simpler…they see things for what they are, and where they want to see something different they simply create it for themselves; they marvel at the simple things in life…a shade of blue, a funny word, a leaf, a bird, a fallen seed. It takes a swing to dry their tears, a hug to soothe a bruised knee. They fight and forgive, they scream and forget a minute later what it was that they were screaming about. They don’t think before launching themselves at someone to envelope them in a big hug. They love people for who they are not for where they come from. They are honest about their feelings and don’t overthink or over complicate…and honestly my world is a much much better place because of my three little boys!
Happy children’s day to my precious little artists…my weavers of magic and giver of hugs!