Sunday, August 12, 2007

The gift

I found something today that totally humbles me, changing my long-held perspectives. I'm writing through tear-filled eyes, happy and sad at being given what I consider a gift.

Just yesterday, I wrote a friend describing why I quit drawing as a child. As a youngster, I recall showing my mom a drawing I was particularly proud of but because she didn't provide any encouragement whatsoever, I figured I wasn't very good at all and hung up my pencils and never picked it up again until adulthood. But my love for art continued and something that couldn't be squelched. I've always loved book illustrations and would spend hours just looking at drawings, wishing I could draw as well as the illustrators.

But this morning, I felt compelled for some reason to look through some old folders and found this drawing, included with a set of others my mother kept in storage, that I didn't know existed. They are drawings I made in elementary school. I did this one at the age of 6 (of Ferdinand the Bull eating grass). Others were from a later time. Seeing these, I realize that my mom actually treasured these! My mom kept my drawings! How long do we as adults keep our resentments of our parents, only to find that they had no substance at all? I'm a bit embarrassed and humbled and realize that lots of forgiveness is in order. But mostly I'm grateful for whatever reason drew me to look through the folder. Thanks for the gift Mom! :)

9 comments:

mrana said...

Joan, that's an amazing and truly beautiful story. A treaure.

Gina said...

Joan, your story gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. What a special gift indeed. Missing you, T

wagonized said...

Wow, Joan! What an amazing find (and what a cool drawing, already!!). Gosh, your story... So glad you came upon this treasure.

Tracy said...

i'm blinking back a a few tears here Joan.
a gift waiting to be found :-)
(oh - and your story confirmed something for me - that the time i spend on saving all these things and putting stories and photos into scrapbooks for my children is worthwhile :-))

Joan Y said...

Thanks folks. It was a strange and wonderful incident. And Tracy, I can guarantee your children will be glad you are doing that for them.

suzanne said...

Wow, this post really carries so many emotions with it. At first I was so saddened to hear about your mother's reaction. I, for one, know that even now I need encouragement and approval, regarding my artwork, from others. I can only imagine this was even more the case when I was young. I wonder how many others out there are in the same situation...loving art as a child, but scared to perform because of loved one's lack of interest...

Anyway, I'm rambling.... But, this is all to say, you present a great perspective...having now realized your mother did cherish your work afterall.

Kathleen Rietz said...

Joan, you made my eyes well up as well! You know how much I treasure all the drawings my mom kept from my childhood. Isn't it an incredible gift?! I am glad you found this sweet drawing. Sometimes our parents just don't know how to act or what to say. I was actually thinking of a similar story today as I was sitting in a parking lot, eating Cheetos. I was very proud of a paper mache dog I made as a child, and could not wait to show it to my dad...he did not appreciate it, and I was crushed, and that story still crosses my mind from time to time. He is gone 18 years now, but the power of his actions still lives with me! Scary, huh! When do we stop being our parents' "children"?!? Just proves how careful we need to be to nurture the children in our lives.

I am glad you found your drawing. It is very beautiful. -- kate

Joan Y said...

Thanks Suzanne and Kate! I am struck by the awesome responsibility parents have in raising secure, well-adjusted children. Thanks for your comments. And Kate - I've always loved your childhood drawings and wished that I had some to share as well. And ... they appeared! :)

Lori Witzel said...

A moving treasure, this.

(Figured out that I found you by noting your comment on the blog Every Picture Tells a Story, who I found through PMBC's blog. More threads knit together, eh?)