Charlie and his book

“Daddy, I want to make a small book with 8 pages,” Charlie said to me as we all milled about in that time after swimming lessons and before bed. He had a standard piece of paper he had pilfered from my wife’s printer and was trying to figure out how to fold it.

I’ve learned not to question Charlie’s random requests. The artist doesn’t like to be challenged, it is best to just figure out how to accommodate his requests, and leave him be.

So I folded a few times, hunted for a stapler, grabbed some scissors and hacked him together his book request.

“Thanks daddy!,” he beamed and then scrambled to find his pencil crayons and hunkered down at the kitchen table.

He intermittently asked me how to spell random words for the next half hour while I heard his pencil crayons fall to the floor after he was done with each colour.

In the end, he presented me with a book. A book he called “The Flying Bird.” It was exactly 8 pages and featured interesting and random pictures of birds. There were old ones, young ones, shadows, interesting angles, and each with a story.

Just as Zacharie can’t help but dance whenever a rhythm inserts itself into his head at any possible time of day, Charlie is hit by his muse just as spontaneously. He’s an artist.

It’s why we have him draw our family image on the chalk board by the front door. He’s been in art class for about 18 months now, we hustle after school to get him to a studio for an extra hour of studying form, colour, and getting pastel bits all over himself.

It’s why our driveway is permanently stained by the remnants of some sort of scribble. From Pokemon monsters to maps to birds, Charlie has so much running around in his head and the perfect little hands of skill to express it.

So here’s Charlie’s first book; 8 simple pages of birds, as described by the author.

“It’s a green bird.”

book cover

“This bird has a jacket and orange hair.”

bird book p 1

“This brown bird is looking at its egg that it made. and it saw the bird say ‘cheep cheep’.”

bird book p 2

“A baby bird that hatched and another egg that hasnt hatched. The baby bird is seeing another bird’s shadow in the sky.”

bird book p 3

“It has a bird looking at the sun and flying.”

bird book p 4

“It’s a bird’s footprint.”

bird book p 5

“It’s a fat bird looking in the sky, wondering when he could fly again.”

bird book p 6

“The end.”

bird book the end

I’m sliding deep into “overly proud, bragging parent” territory with this post, but it’s symbolic of so much of what I love about Charlie and appreciate about childhood. His creativity knows no bounds, he can free associate in any genre, and he’ll do it instantly. Sometimes it’s chalk art on the driveway, other times it’s a small 8 page booklet.

Children are magical in the way they let their inspiration run free in the wild. We could all use more of that.

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