The Joy of Ranking High on the Food Chain.


ewjMy kids are proud of me for having written a book, especially when I showed them that their names are mentioned in the acknowledgements. Every time we read a prayer out of my book before eating, they’ll say, “that’s a good one, Mom!” It’s sweet, no doubt about that. And the other day one of my sons created this drawing as a joke. “Get it, mom? The big one is going to eat the little one with joy! He’s happy about it! Eat With Joy!

{How could I not share this?!}

Gruesome Pirates, Heroic Grandpas, and Graeme…

One of the reasons my dad is great is because when my son Graeme asks him to draw a pirate, he grabs whatever paper and writing implement is to hand and effortlessly produces stuff like this:

Or this:

At this point I need to make a confession.

“Forgive me, Parents who have been Parenting Longer than I, for I have sinned. Before I had children, I was inclined to Judge Thee In My Heart Without Knowing What the Heck Your Life was Like.”

“I wrongly believed that any Child Enamored of Violence Had Been Left to His Electronic Devices to Absorb the Evil Influences of Movies, TV, Violent Video Games, and Martial Arts.”

Now that I’m six years into this parenting racket, I’m not ready to call “nurture” an “assumption”, but I’m much less Blank Slate than I used to be. My boys, they have a very limited media diet. I’m a pacifist, for cryin’ out loud! Nonetheless, my boys crave pirates, knights, and anything involving weapons. They just do. They always have!

Graeme (3) even wants to change his name to “Graeme Pirate Stone.” Oh, and? He’s not satisfied if a pirate has just one deadly weapon. They must have, at least, a sword and a dagger–

My dad was initially reluctant to give in to every request for a drawing, fearful that Graeme would not stretch out his own little creative wings and make his own art. Never fear, Dad. Graeme carries the pictures around with them, colors them in, scribbles on them, and is {finally!} starting to produce his own Scary Art:

{Have I mentioned that Graeme also has a thing for TEETH? “Make teeth, Grandpa. Scaryteeth.”}

But the best part of Graeme’s obsession with his grandpa’s art is the way he sits by, watching delightedly, occasionally even panting with utter delight and anticipation as he watches Grandpa’s squiggles, dots, and lines become something that quickens his pulse, frightens him just a little, and fascinates him a lot.

Watching that tiny boy’s delight is almost sacramental, and I don’t say that lightly.

{Even if I do wish he was delighted in Grandpa’s drawing of somewhat less gruesome subject matter.}

Those of you who have children: have you ever been surprised by the things that capture their imaginations?