One day, while my daughter was happily distracted in her own marker drawings, I decided to risk pulling out a new sketchbook I had special ordered. It had dark paper, and was perfect for adding highlights to. I had only drawn a little in it, and was anxious to try it again, but knowing our daughter’s love of art supplies, it meant that if I wasn’t sly enough, I might have to share. (Note: I’m all about kid’s crafts, but when it comes to my own art projects, I don’t like to share.) Since she was engrossed in her own project, I thought I might be able to pull it off.
Ahhh, I should’ve known better. No longer had I drawn my first face (I love drawing from old black & white movie stills) had she swooped over to me with an intense look. “OOOH! Is that a NEW sketchbook? Can I draw in that too, mama?” I have to admit, the girl knows good art supplies when she sees them. I muttered something about how it was my special book, how she had her own supplies and blah blah blah, but the appeal of new art supplies was too much for her to resist. In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.”
Oh no she didn’t! Girlfriend was using my own mommy-words at me! Impressed, I agreed to comply. “I was going to draw a body on this lady’s face,” I said. “Well, I will do it,” she said very focused, and grabbed the pen. I had resigned myself to let that one go. To let her have the page, and then let it go. I would just draw on my own later, I decided. I love my daughter’s artwork, truly I do! But this was MY sketchbook, my inner kid complained.
Not surprisingly, I LOVED what she drew. I had drawn a woman’s face, and she had turned her into a dinosaur-woman. It was beautiful, it was carefree, and for as much as I don’t like to share, I LOVED what she had created. Flipping through my sketchbook, I found another doodle of a face I had not yet finished. She drew a body on it, too, and I was enthralled. It was such a beautiful combination of my style and hers. And she LOVED being a part of it. She never hesitated in her intent. She wasn’t tentative. She was insistent and confident that she would of course improve any illustration I might have done. …And the thing is, she DID.
And from it all, here are the lessons I learned: to try not to be so rigid. Yes, some things (like my new sketchbook) are sacred, but if you let go of those chains, new and wonderful things can happen. Those things you hold so dear cannot change and grow and expand unless you loosen your grip on them a little. In sharing my artwork and allowing our daughter to be an equal in our collaborations, I helped solidify her confidence, which is way more precious than any doodle I could have done. In her mind, her contributions were as valid as mine (and in truth, they really were). Most importantly, I learned that if you have a preconceived notion of how something should be, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE DISAPPOINTED. Instead, just go with it, just ACCEPT it, because usually something even more wonderful will come out of it.
This is so good
Oh my goodness that’s fantastic! Lookit’em!
In the broadest legal decision on the New York Police Department’s stop and frisk program yet, a federal judge ruled the program is unconstitutional and violates the Fourth Amendment and 14th Amendment.
In the broadest legal decision on the New York Police Department’s stop and frisk program yet, a federal judge ruled on Monday that the program is unconstitutional and violates the Fourth Amendment and 14th Amendment. According to the ruling, the city adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling.
The controversial program has led to 5 million stops of mostly black and Latino men since 2004. People stopped by police were found innocent 90 percent of the time, a statistic that led Judge Shira Scheindlin to note “the policy encourages the targeting of young black and Hispanic men based on their prevalence in local crime complaints. This is a form of racial profiling.”
In her ruling, Scheindlin ordered an independent monitor to ensure NYPD reforms its practices.
The program’s racial bias is staggering: Based on suspicion alone, police have stopped more young black men than the population of young black men in New York. Even so, Mayor Bloomberg has defended the program for disproportionately targeting whites and stopping minorities “too little.”
Bloomberg has already announced he will appeal the ruling.
And Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would cut back on harsh mandatory minimum sentences for “low-level, nonviolent drug offenders.”
Today’s been a damn good day for American civil rights. (Now let’s just hope both these things actually come to pass.)
When a man murders an unarmed, innocent teenager, that’s tragic.
When a jury fails to convict a murderer for his crime, that’s unfortunate.
But what’s horrific is when white Americans shower the murderer with support and attack and slander his victim, all because the killer was a white man and the murdered boy was black. (And yes, in the context of this case, Zimmerman is white; mainstream racist white people certainly embraced him as one of their own.)
The amount of evil ordinary (white) people are spewing against Trayvon - an innocent child, remember, murdered by a reckless thug outside his own house for the crime of being a black person in the United States of America - is just atrocious.
Matt’s spending the summer in Germany with Anna.
The other day she posted this on my Facebook wall.
They know me too well.