There are some clear and certain evils in this world – racism, hatred, and permanent markers. Yes, all of them stain this world with an everlasting mark.
We have been pulling out our art supplies more and more lately, especially since my four-year-old is growing more interested in printing. I’ve gleaned ideas from preschools and other parents on how to stash crayons, stamps, and felt pens and feel like most of the time I do a good job at preventing mishaps.
Perhaps you’ve been to that house where the goods were left out on the table or counter. There are rainbow streaks over the furniture and faded marks on the walls where the parents tried to remove the evidence of Crayola chaos. I wasn’t going to be that parent, and that wasn’t going to be my home.
So today the kids are at the table with two jars full of crayons. After they grew tired of that, I pulled out some mini markers that my husband had brought home from his work. They seemed to be dried out, but that was perfect for the kids. They were adding to their masterpieces, and I had a free moment to sort through some cupboards a mere ten feet away. Five minutes later I went to see how their artwork was coming along. YIKES! Pen all over the table and the back of the chairs. I went to that high octave place, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
Fortunately, it wasn’t anything that a little rubbing alcohol couldn’t remove. It was hard to tell if this was a collective work from both kids, or the mischief of a two-year-old Picasso. I know full well that when the kids are ultra-quiet that it usually means that all concentration is going into some sort of messy endeavor. It reminds me that if I want a pristine house then I shouldn’t turn my head, and if I want a sane mind then I will let go of that illusory belief that my children will always color where they should. I’ve been trying to teach my kids to make great mistakes – over and over again – for learning’s sake and this is all part of it, right? And I am thankful that my kids opt for something other than the art media of choice of the twin boys who lived across the street from me as a child – excrement and vaseline, painted on their bedroom walls.
In the end, some of that pen actually did get on the paper.