I love drawing, doodling, sketching, diagramming. I love when the sense of wanting to create something hits you all of a sudden, and there’s an irresistable urge to let out something through the tips of your pencil or a fine sketching marker. I love it when kids seem to inherit this love of drawing.
Yes, I know—everybody’s child is a great artist, in his/her parents’ eyes, and every piece of artwork ever produced probably deserves to be framed and treasured forever (or at least posted for a few months on the front of the fridge). I’m not here to say how unbelievable my kids’ drawings are; I have no doubt that their artistic skills are about average, and I don’t expect to see them fetching huge sums for their creations. What I do love about my kids’ drawings, however, is the first time I notice the little things.
You know how you look at your kids’ drawings day after day, and mumble, “Um hm, that’s lovely, dear. A circle, wonderful. Oh, is that a happy face? Beautiful. Of course I know that that’s a cat you just drew!” The drawings progress slowly, and you admire them absentmindedly, with the obligation of a parent. But then, in the space of just one day it seems, things take a huge leap forward. All of a sudden, you notice the details in your children’s drawings, and you can almost visualise what’s going on in their little minds as they sketch out the world according to them. Buildings now acquire doors and doorknobs, crosses on steeples, or individually sketched-in bricks. Illustrations of little girls suddenly show ruffles on their dress hems, and bows in their hair. Stick people still have sticks for arms and legs, but wait—now they’ve acquired five stick fingers on each hand! And today, for example, the Boy drew a cat with little pads on the bottom of their paws. Perfectly-placed pads on the bottom of their paws, even if they only have two paws. Kawaii!
The first time your children set a crayon to paper is magical, sure. But the real magic happens when little things become huge. When you can see how detailed and precise the world is, through your children’s pen-tip—now that’s a special moment.