Your Children Are Masterpieces
He was standing in front of the room, drawing. Big, sweeping strokes with different colored chalk—back to the audience, not caring what we thought. He didn’t seem to think much, just stared at the canvas for a few seconds, and then went to work. First came the broad stokes of pink and yellow and blue. Then, he started to overlay the colors—orange over blue, white over yellow..and on and on. What was he drawing? It wasn’t clear. Seemed like a landscape—did he have something in mind? But he just kept adding color after color, overlaying and seemingly adding depth. He kept moving—seemed without purpose until the brown looked like a mountain—and the white was snow. Adding more and more definition, the beautiful scene started shaping up. But then, all of a sudden, he added a big sweep of black right in front of the mountains, the snow, the sky—like a humongous lightning bolt just coming down and destroying the beauty of the serene scene. But wait! That’s not lightning—it’s the trunk of a tree in the foreground, sprouting branches and leaves of many colors. His twist and turns kept us in suspense…and anxiously awaiting to see his final product.
This was Richard Hight’s take on creating a masterpiece and how we didn’t need the best tools…just the right tools. He was drawing on a queen-sized bed sheet from K-mart, stretched across an easel with lengths of lumber. His point? There are no excuses: you can always find a way to create. Sometimes he uses elaborate paintbrushes or expensive oils and other times it’s a stick, or his pinkie. And, he ‘pointed’ out (ouch!) that you always have your pinkie with you.
Why am I telling you this? Because, as you may know—I can turn anything into an analogy or helpful tip for parenting. So, here is my creative masterpiece taken from Richard’s inspiration:
- You are creating masterpieces—your kids.
- Actually, you are the vehicle for masterpieces to be created. The canvas has been presented and the chalk is in your hands.
- And, while you have a general idea of what you want to teach and how you want your kids to turn out, the shape is clear but the details are fuzzy.
- Who they will end up becoming is unknown—and won’t be revealed until many layers have been added, creating more and more depth and definition.
- There will be twists and turns in raising them, and what may appear to be lightning bolts out of nowhere—can actually turn into great lessons or beautiful results.
- There are some ugly stages where it doesn’t seem like it’s turning out well at all.
- There’s the laying down the foundation, as you provide them with a sense of security and stability.
- Kids go through many different developmental stages each one adding depth and color and laying the groundwork for the next layer, the next stage.
- You look for signs along the way that what you are doing is working….resonating with your masterpieces in progress. Are your kids happy? Successful? Loving? What’s working?
- They continue to take shape—their personalities, styles, interests and gifts beginning to emerge and you begin to see each of them differently…for their uniqueness and special set of tools needed to help them develop.
- While your mind may want to take the path of least resistance, and draw all your masterpieces just the same way over and over again…you begin to realize that each one of your kids takes a different perspective to come alive and bring out his/her full beauty.
- As you begin to see them in their own light, you start to find ways to help them get around the obstacles and challenges, coming from different vantage points that suit each specific masterpiece.
- The keys are to be observant, willing to change, go with the flow and release preconceived notions.
Oh, and one final message: When asked how he knew when his masterpiece was done, Richard replied: “Art is always evolving; there is always more to add. However, at some point you just have to step away from the canvas and be done. Masterpieces have to stand on their own…after I leave.”
As the artist is the conduit for the masterpiece to take shape…you too are the artist through whom your kids will emerge in their own magnificence…if you view them as masterpieces and allow their canvases to speak to you. Your job is to make sure you have made no excuses, used the right tools and taken the perspective that each of them needed. At some point, you too, will have to step away from your masterpieces and then they, too, will have to stand on their own.
Enjoy Your Kids!