Thursday, January 4, 2007

Pass it on

I never gave birth to any children. Papa Go Blue and I discussed it, and we decided not to. He had raised three children into young adulthood, and didn't want to start over again with a baby. I was so unsure of myself, especially whether I could be any kind of good parent, so I was relieved that the decision was made for me.

I also never had a strong urge to have children of my own. There was nothing in particular that I wanted to pass down to another generation. Wackiness? Not something kids would really benefit from having. Anxiety? Good lord, no. I'm not tall and slender. I'm not brilliant. My (step)kids are brilliant, but they don't come from my gene pool. As far as teaching children anything goes, I feel so out of my element. How could I teach someone how to get along in the world, when I've had such a tough time myself? I don't feel capable of giving any advice on how to get through teenage years or young adulthood other than "do it differently than I did". Luckily, the kids were so well brought up that they didn't need to come to me for much advice, anyway. They all were so successful, in finding mates and in finding their careers. Their parents did an amazing job.

The only ability I have that would love to share is that of being able to draw, and the love of drawing. I fantasize about sitting with a child and showing him/her how the space around something defines it, how color and light can be used to add dimension, and how putting grids over things and breaking them down into shapes can yield a remarkable likeness.

My dear stepchildren have grown into amazing adults. They each have two children of their own. They each fill my heart with joy, and I love spending time with them. I'm always thrilled when they bring me drawings. I applaud their artwork, and we post it all over our door (or we did before the realtor yelled at us to take the kids' artwork down while we had the house on the market).I watch each child drawing or painting, and wonder if maybe one of them will want to become an artist.

LG, my younger grandson, seems to show a tremendous interest in art. He talks about color a lot, and is always happy to draw or paint if I bring out the art supplies. He loves rainbows. He's done some amazing thing so far--we have a refrigerator magnet with a painting of his on it.

I try to be careful to just watch and show appreciation for what he does, and not to direct him at all. The art teachers I've known taught me never to do that. And it's possible that this will just be one expression of his interests. Maybe he will grow up to be a musician, another one of his interests. Or a scientist, like his father. Or a writer, like his mother.

But if he does choose art for his life's work, his grandmother will love to share it with him.

12 comments:

Not so little sister said...

That's so nice! I am a lover of art, but have never been a creator. Just not talented in that way. I'm sure LG will learn a lot from you!

Yankee, Transferred said...

I wish we lived closer. Younger Daughter could sure use you.
XOXOXO
SIS

kathy a said...

so beautiful! my kids had a wonderful art teacher in elementary school, a real artist who taught them about color and drawing, experimenting with different media. her motto was something i'll never forget: "there are no mess-ups in art."

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

That's so cool. I wish you could teach me... both of my sisters are artists, and it's so clear that they physically see the world in a different way than I do. I've always wondered whether I could learn to see the things they do, or whether it's just the way their brains are programmed. (I suspect a little of both.)

grandma blue said...

NSLS, an art lover is a wonderful thing to be.

YT, me too!!!

kathy a, I love that philosophy.

p/h, you would be amazed at how much you could learn. But, sure, some of it is inherent.

I'm still stuck on my friend's insisting that anyone could sing opera the way she could. I just can't believe it, somehow.

grandma blue said...

I should have mentioned that LG's maternal grandmother is an artist. She does lovely drawings and paintings. That's one reason I was thinking he might be one, also. He has the genes.

Lee said...

Grandma Blue, I wish I lived closer. I'd book monthly, if not weekly classes with you!

You seem like such a lovely, caring, witty woman. I'm glad that you're at peace with not having blood offspring. I think that if things had been different, you would have been a tremendous mother!

I try to be careful to just watch and show appreciation for what he does, and not to direct him at all. The art teachers I've known taught me never to do that.

You just said a mouthful. I received a lot of "helpful" direction from my well meaning commercial artist parental unit. As an adult, I know it was well meaning. As a child, it felt like rejection. Like nothing I did was ever good enough. It's why my creations are stiff, ultra-conservative, overworked and more technical than I'd like them to be. I'm working on that. With the help of the animation lessons and other supportive folks I've met in the blog world. But enough of me.

I've seen some of LG's work. He's going to be a super-star!

liz said...

Such a lovely post. I think that art is as much from genes as from atmosphere. I definitely get my sense of humor from my step-father. And my crossword-ability. And my zippy reading.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

My comment doesn't pertain to art, but I just wanted to tell you that your post made me think about how much I love my awesome, cool stepmom. Think I'll call her & my dad tonight...

Phantom Scribbler said...

LG may have gotten the genes from his maternal grandmother, but he's most unlikely to learn anything from her. He is lucky to have you in his life. Very lucky. And not just because of the art...

grandma blue said...

Phantom, you made my day. I just love that little boy. I love them both so much.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Grandma Blue, I think you have a lot to pass on, and I'm glad you have grandkids to pass it on to. They are lucky to have you.

And yes, LG's artwork is fantastic!