I have been talking to a colleague of mine recently about how untalented we both are in drawing. You know the feeling when your child asks you to draw a cat and suddenly a wave of frustration hits you that you won’t be able to master this simple task. The most simple thing and it makes you almost as nervous as standing in front of the examination committee at your MA final exam.
During the discussion I was trying to bring back any memories where my parents or grandparents were trying to teach us to draw. Sadly I could not remember any moment like this. Well this does not mean they never happened but I could really not remember sitting together with my parents or grandparents trying to draw something together. I was always admiring my grandpa for his hobby of painting but my admiration never turned into a real interest of learning to draw. My colleague had very similar experience regarding this but than on the other hand we also brought back many other memories from our childhood that got me thinking.
I think in the times when I was a kid parents did not invest a whole lot of time in studying child psychology, neither did they sit hours on the couch in the evening thinking of what fun, creative, educational activities they could do together with their child on the upcoming weekend. Kids were there, were part of the family, they were taken care of, they had company in either the neighbors’ children or cousins or siblings. We got a lot of love but I think most of us did not get a lot of individual attention as in figuring out a talent or passion for a particular hobby. This was in the best case left for the kindergarten and school to guide children through the choices of cultural, sports and other activities.
On the other hand I am also sad (and relieved :D) that my child cannot experience the kind of free childhood that we had. Running around outside with your friends the whole day, playing in the sand without 20 grown-ups trying to negotiate who should use the swing as next we actually managed to figure that out ourselves, making small excursions without telling your parents, wandering for hours on the fields close to the house. I am still amazed that all of us actually survived our childhood and turned into a grown up without any major physical damage. As scary as all these things seem to me now, and believe me I would never let my child do something like this :D, I also know how much it thought us kids back then. It was not a conscious choice of our parents I think but it helped us grow very independent (I would even risk saying too independent). The down side of it as I see it now was that we experienced a lot of things that we actually could not understand rationally, because nobody was there explaining what you saw. We were left a bit alone in this jungle of discovery and Huckleberry Finn life.
Obviously, the circumstances of our children’s’ lives are totally different and our circumstances as parents are too, I only hope that we will manage to teach our kids to draw but also to be free.