Charlie is an artist.
I don’t know if this is what he will do when he grows up, or how it will serve him in the future, but the kid loves to colour, paint, scribble, draw, design, etc.
We skipped swimming lessons for the first part of the year, instead opting for arts. Zacharie is in dance, Charlie in art. Charlie’s class is studying the body.
He made a heart for Valentine’s Day, one hidden behind a rib cage.
He curled some string and made a nervous system.
He drew himself hiding behind an X-Ray.
He made a lizard, and a chicken.
It’s been wonderful.
Charlie is happiest when he has a paper and a pen. He beat boxes when he’s enjoying himself and he bounces along every time he draws. When we went out for dinner recently, he dove into his activity book with the kids’ menu and immediately started trying to copy the step-by-step drawing instructions within.
Then, this week, after a particularly bad weekend of behaviour, the boys have had their screen privileges removed. No TV, no iPad, no iPod. They’re analog.
When we hustled after school to Zacharie’s dance class, I didn’t pack along the usual iPad or iPod to entertain Charlie, I brought a clipboard, some paper, and a coloring book.
He plopped down and clicked and hummed and beat boxed along and scribbled page, after page, after page.
Today, after school, he put away his lunch bag, got changed, and started rummaging through a little tickle trunk we have set up for him near the kitchen table. It’s a basket filled with pens, pencils, scissors, paper, booklets, and anything else he can use to create.
He came back a few minutes later proudly presenting “a Zebra Mermaid!”
With it was “a sea snake with 54 feet!,” and random numbers dotting the page. In addition to loving art, Charlie is loving school. He wants to learn, he wants to read, he wants to do math.
Then came a picture with a long stairwell.
“This is a picture of the secret entrance to the leprechaun lab where they make gold,” Charlie explained. “Leprechauns make gold?,” I asked. “Ya!,” he responded. As sure of this fact as he was of any fact in his entire 5 yr old life.
And then he ran back to the table to scribble some more while I got up to make dinner.
Charlie has an imagination filled with so much impossibility that becomes reality every time his pencil touches the paper.
He starts a class in clay after Easter. I can’t wait.
Aside: I collect images of Charlie and Zacharie’s art in a very cool app called Artkive. You take pictures of the art, label it with a title, and the date it was created, and then you can sort the pieces by the child who made them. All the pictures, none of the clutter. Artkive will also print books or keepsakes based on the art for you, or you can just use it as storage and a place to share art with family.