Yesterday Jake did an actual craft with the Parents as Teachers representative. He opened the door for her when she arrived, participated in her projects, told her when he was done with his masterpiece, counted objects, and generally made up for all the times last year when he wouldn’t even acknowledge there was another adult in the room.
While he perfectly placed small photographs on the prints that matched them, she told me that the original matching game had been brightly colored shapes or objects or something like you might see in any pre-school setting. These pictures, though, were real and beautiful and filled with actual artistry like composition and focal points. She said for a while she would offer both games to the pre-school children, and without exception they preferred to work with the photographs.
She said then, “I think children have an innate understanding of quality, and we tend to take it out of them.”
Well, A) That is a beautiful thought for you to have about children, and especially for you to have about my child. Would you like some chocolate, or money, or perhaps my brand new dining room table? And, B) Dear God, why do we take it out of them, and can we Stop It?
Have you ever heard Lucy Swindoll speak? Oh, how I love that woman. She is so positive, so loving, and so aware of every inch of beautiful in this amazing life. And I’ve heard her say that her father exposed his children to all kinds of culture – art museums, literature and poetry, world cultures. I remember being so moved when she spoke about that and so determined to get my children to an art museum for goodness sake.
This is why I’m so moved when Drew writes songs and poetry. Why I’m glad when John can’t quite stop reading after the minimum time limit. And why I’m so determined to help Jake better capture language. But my weakness in this area – the fact that I haven’t ever taken them to an actual art museum for goodness sake – is strangely comforted by the story Michael heard recently by Lucy. She said her brother once quoted poetry – a beautiful passage, which she repeated during her story. When the recitation was over, Lucy looked at her father and said, “Chuck said ‘bosom’.”