Tonawanda News

Features

February 4, 2013

Building a love for the artsy-craftsy stuff ... or not

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — When many of my friends lost that fondness for art class that so often comes with the approach of middle school, I remained. I even won a few poster contests in my day. As a teenager, I helped with crafts at a children’s group and worked as a craft director at a local camp. I found that as much as I liked creating things, I liked helping others create things just as much. 

Unfortunately, my art skills never really matured much past junior high. So much for that planned career as a children’s book author and illustrator. Still, I had kids now. I could share it with them.

That evening, I got out the crayons and the markers and the glue and the child-safe scissors, setting up places at our dining room table for each of us.

Elder child remained uninterested, his roll of the eyes downright teenager-like. The younger one was enthused. (But then, the younger one is enthused over most anything.) He bounced over and sat down, studying the tools and the massive stack of paper with relish. “What are we going to make?”

“Whatever you want,” I told him, sitting down opposite him. “Go ahead.”

Thoughtfully, he rummaged through the paper, selecting a piece the color of the summer sky, then selecting a few markers. I bent my head to study my tools, starting work on the project that lead to the paper purchase in the first place.

About 10 minutes later, he was done, proudly displaying an elaborate hand-drawn portrait of our family on vacation. I applauded, promised to put it on the refrigerator (or Gallery Keppeler) and told him to start something new whenever he wanted, then returned to my own work.

A moment later, I realized he wasn’t moving, and looked up to see an unhappy 4-year-old visage, put-upon and mournful ... and bored.

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