In the beginning, when Sophie began to draw, we encouraged her by excitedly reacting to each piece of construction paper covered in scribbles and often asked if she would like us to hang her pieces of art on our refrigerator. She always said yes. She always seemed happy.
I don’t know if this has instilled a deep sense of confidence in her, prompting her to further explore her artistic abilities, or if it’s just given her a big head. Because now she puts everything on the refrigerator. After, of course, showing it to us first, eagerly waiting for praise.
I don’t mind when it’s something she’s worked hard on. But I admit, I do sigh deeply when I open the fridge and 12 pieces of loosely magnetized paper fall off, each with a single scribble on it.
Still, though, I have my favorites. Her finger paintings. Her first circle. One covered in marker, crayon, foam stickers, sequins and poof balls. And then there’s her letter, which she wrote to the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba!, dictated to Andy (it’s the bright orange piece of paper on the right):
Dear Plex, Brobee, Muno, Foofa, Toodee, and DJ Lance Rock:
I like to draw kookalocks. Can I have your phone number? I want to talk to Plex first.
Can you make some diapers with your pictures on them? Here is a picture I drew just for you: I like to chalk outside.
Some days I think how nice our refrigerator would look clean, empty. But then, already, a sense of sadness fills me. A deep and scary they-grow-up-so-fast feeling. A I-want-to-hold-onto-this-time-as-long-as-possible feeling. So as much as the single-scribble pictures drive me crazy, I’ve learned to love many of the others. And really, truly, can’t imagine a time in my life when I’ll have an empty fridge.
“It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.” —Kojiro Tomita