On our way home from school yesterday I asked JD how his day was and he let out a giant sigh. Yikes!
“What’s wrong, Chicken Little?” I asked, looking at him through the rearview mirror.
“*John told me my drawing was a ‘scribble scrabble mess,’ because I colored out of the lines."
My stomach felt like the rollercoaster just dropped. GRRRRRR.
“I’m going to tell you a story, so listen closely,” I said to my son.
“OK,” he said.
Here goes: When I was your age I went to school at a place called Our Lady of the Valley (a Catholic school) and my teacher’s name was Miss Mary. Just like you, I had circle time, music class, recess, writing and reading—and we did lots of art, too. One day, Miss Mary gave the whole class a picture of Jesus to color. Just like you, I loved to color—and still do. On that day, I decided to color Jesus’ face grass green.
"Green!" JD said.
"Yes! Now listen," I said.
*Tina, the little girl sitting next to me, looked at my picture, scrunched up her nose and said, “Jesus does not have a green face! Why did you color his face green?” It made me feel very bad and just like you told me what happened with *John, I told Mema what happened with *Tina. She told me to “shrug it off!” But ya know what, I don’t think I ever shrugged it off. And that’s because I’m a creative person. When Mommy goes to work she writes and coordinates photo shoots. I think coloring Jesus’ face green was cool—when we get home we'll paint! I think your scribble scrabble mess isn’t a mess at all—it’s a masterpiece. We are artists, kiddo! Color, paint, sculpt, build, write anyway you like! Don’t worry what other people think. And here’s something I want you to always remember, in life, in your whole big, full life, there is no way you will stay in the lines. And that is a very beautiful thing. Life is supposed to be colorful and sloppy.
I am printing this blog out and tucking into JD's suitcase when he leaves for college in 14 years. Sob.
Look at this awesome pic JD drew before we left for Hawaii. He's amazing!
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Full disclosure: My preschool story is true. I remember the girl's name. *Names changed to protect the critics.