There are many times when I feel too busy to sit down with my kids at the kitchen table when they color. They're occupied, I reason, so I should get something -- anything -- done. I could unload the dishwasher, or run upstairs to fold laundry, or take out the trash, or sweep the kitchen floor.
But today, I sit. Brooke, my middle child, hands me a piece of paper and pushes the markers and stickers across the table. She wants me to join her and create something.
I make a person who is standing next to disproportionately large flowers and a disproportionately small pine tree. I don't intend for the person to look like a clown, but he does. (We all know that clowns are kind of creepy even if they're smiling. Scratch that. Especially if they're smiling.) Still, the picture contains floating hearts, a friendly message, a pebble path, and birds flying in V-formation off in the distance, so I'll hold fast that it's not too scary.
My youngest daughter shows me her drawing when she's done. "It's a picture of you, Mommy."
You don't say. (My, what large eyes I have.)
Then she starts working on a new picture. Tell me more about this one, I prompt.
"Well, that's Brooke," she begins as she points to the figure with blue hair, "and those are two lions chasing her through the back yard."
And I had thought that my clown was scary.