We have a framed quotation in our kitchen, hidden amongst the past projects, unidentifiable clay models and paintbrushes.
We even made and decorated it ourselves, for good measure. I love it and almost certainly ascribe to the message. Lately, however, I have also found myself thinking that, whilst every child is an artist, some are more ‘artist’ than others.
Like the Youngest.
The Youngest has developed a penchant for drawing this summer. Just hand her a pen and a notepad and she’ll be busy for hours – and I mean hours. She’s four. This has NEVER happened to us before!
Two hour train ride to London? Notepad.
Not interested in the nail-biting three hours we spent with the Lionesses at Wembley? Notepad.
Meal taking too long to arrive? Notepad.
Three short stops on the tube?! Notepad.
What rare and beautiful new territory we find ourselves traversing these days.
Now, the thing is, with all of that drawing amidst all of the chaos we’ve experienced this summer, I stopped really paying attention to what she was actually producing. Until, that is, the tables full of mermaids and singers and footballers and princesses that I cleared up at the end of the day started to get more and more detailed; and the only way I knew for sure that they were hers was that the Middle Man doesn’t draw mermaids and the Eldest is into Manga.
“Have you seen this?!” I’d call to Husband in another room, “this can’t be hers, surely?!”
See, there’s not just the correct amount of fingers here… there’s actual facial expressions and radio mics and other tiny, tiny details and colours and thought and purpose and just acute attention to detail. I mean, she’s four?! The base requirement for primary school is that she should be able to hold a pencil…?!
And so I decide she’s gifted. I mean, I’m not going to say it, because I’m not one of those Mums; but on her first day at school I do sneak a few pictures into her bag and hope that her teacher confirms my suspicions. (All whilst humming the opening number from Matilda the Musical, “My Mummy says I’m a miracle….”) Still. All of this is far too passive for my burning maternal pride, and so this morning, I also take some photographs and send them to my only-slightly-less-biased family.
“Look… this isn’t normal is it? Surely, SURELY, the child is gifted?!”
The immediate response is…. unprecedented.
“What on earth is under that cheerleaders skirt?!”
… the… huh? What do you mean?
In all of that detail, it would appear that I failed to notice…
And I sent them to her new teacher.
Let’s hope Miss Honey’s mind is cleaner than theirs!
Still. Gotta love a family that brings you right back down to Earth, hey?!
Happy new school year, folks!
I am on the brink of a new, post-preschool era.
Let the next adventure begin….
2 Comments Add yours
Child prodigies are an intriguing phenomenon because some are early starters and others eventually catch up. There are also late starters who aren’t less intelligent but they’re just taking their time to get there. I’ve been thinking our 18 year old son is in this camp, which his sister went to opportunity school which we have in Australia for years five and six when they’re about 10-12 She was tested and showed up with a processing speed in the gifted range. This isn’t necessarily a blessing because she outspeeds us mere mortals. She was also good at drawing at a young age and would draw things from a different perspective like the side view of a caterpillar. She’s got into dance, and ballet in particular.
Our son’s teachers advised us to extend her sideways to have multiple interests rather than galloping ahead in one area.
My grandmother was a child prodigy concert pianist, Eunice Gardiner, and she had exceptional, international success. A decision was made to keep her in regular school rather than attending a conservatorium so that she became a rounded, educated person, which was quite ahead of its time for a young woman born in 1918.
Looking at the kids we’ve seen excel at something there’s that combination of a talent, passion and putting in the hours…hours and hours. This is exactly what your daughter is doing and so she sounds gifted to me.
Lastly, on the subject of her drawing of the cheer leader, I question whether she’s drawing balls but rather female labia.
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Very interesting! What a great family tree!! 😁 I don’t know about the cheerleader… I thought maybe it was just the top of her legs that got drawn first and coloured over?! She’s well and truly moved on now so I guess we’ll never know!
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