21 Apr Doodling a miracle
It was an unassuming piece of notebook paper sitting on the kitchen table commanding no one’s attention for two days. On it, my younger daughter Caroline had doodled a cartoonish face with mischievous eyes. The paper had been folded up as if it were going to be finished later.
Then, the other night as I was making dinner, I hear a giggle from Caroline followed by “Look what Meredith did, Mom.”
“She drew legs!” Caroline said.
“What?,” I asked puzzled.
“She drew legs for my head,” she said.
“Oh my God,” I said. “She did.”
I pulled the wrinkled notebook paper up to my face. Under the head, Meredith had drawn a torso and two skinny lines for legs. At the bottom of each leg was a circle for a foot. It was crude, but the most beautiful drawing I had seen, not for its artistry, but for its message.
Even just a year ago, Meredith would have taken a pen and scribbled all over the page. In this one she clearly wanted to finish the drawing by completing the torso and legs and she did this in pencil so it would match the rest of the drawing.
It means Meredith’s fine motor skills are good enough to draw recognizable legs with straight lines. It shows creativity that she looked at the picture and added something meaningful. It’s a picture that shows a sense of cooperation – however unintended – between sisters, 12 and 15, who typically argue over possessions rather than share them.
I suppose a less mature Caroline would have been angry because maybe she didn’t want to see her drawing embellished, but somehow she saw the beauty of Meredith’s gentle addition and that is something I can’t teach either of them.