My daughter loves to "color." She giggles when handed crayons and often travels from room to room with an etch-a-sketch in tow. Without fail, after she has scribbled by herself for a few minutes, she will ask me or my husband to draw for her. At first her requests were simple and often based on what I (given my lack of artistic talent) had previously drawn: simple shapes, letters, perhaps a cat if I were feeling ambitious. But these days her preferences have become more specific. "Mama, draw Miss Sarah." "Draw down dog." "Draw Omaha."
I first found myself trying to steer her instead toward something more befitting my stick-figure skills. "Why don't we draw a tree..." But she would not be deterred. "Sweetheart, mama is not a good artist," I heard myself say, and then I stopped. I realized I was allowing my self-consciousness to stand in the way of a bonding opportunity. My daughter was not demanding a perfect representation. She was not sharpening her art critic skills. She was asking to play together - sharing a moment and a sketchpad.
So I put crayon to paper, and I was delighted to discover a stick figure with a ponytail is a perfectly suitable rendering of her favorite teachers. A few rectangles under a blue sky pass muster for a city scape. And she has yet to complain that cats, dogs, and horses bear a striking resemblance to one another...
Where have you allowed your perfectionism to stand in the way of sharing a moment or taking a first step? What light can you let shine through the cracks in your veneer?
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