The Girl Who Cried Wolf

Jun 1 2011

My reading material is, at worst, terrible.  At best, it’s tacky.  And at always, it’s entertaining.

There’s just something about the vampire/werewolf world with its unending dark vs. light dilemma that appeals to me.

You’d think that the supes (that’s “supernaturals” for those of you who read edifying material) would beg off of the constant, exhausting pursuit of morality.  But they keep slogging away, one blood-sucking, moon-shifting step at a time.  You’ve got to admire tenaciousness like that.

OK, that and their super strength.

OK, their super strength and their super powers.

OK, their super strength, super powers, and perpetual, immortal, extraordinary hotness.

‘Cause that’s where I’m aiming when I grow up.  To have super strength, super powers, and to be perpetually, immortally, extraordinarily hot.

It’s important to me to shoot for achievable goals.

At least raising five kids ensures I’ll have the gray hair of a werewolf, so you see my plan is working already.  Go, me!

I have my share of deep, dark secrets.  My reading material is one of them, and I don’t divulge the information lightly.  I mean, it’s not like it paints me in good light, now, is it?  Frankly, it’s embarrassing.

Not embarrassing enough to stop doing it.  But still embarrassing.

So why do I confess now?

Only because my 9-year-old girl child has forced my hand.

Aden brought home an art project.  A very special art project.

It’s inspiring.  Challenging.  It does what all good art should do and provokes thought.

Now, I’m admittedly not the most sentimental parent when it comes to art projects.  I love ’em.  But they’re temporary.  With five kids, there’s only so much room for macaroni necklaces, magazine animal collages, tissue paper vases, and punched-can luminaries.  So most projects make a brief visit to our house before we say our sweet good-byes.

By sweet good-byes, I mean we hide them in the trash and hope the kids don’t notice or catch us.  And, if they do, we say things like, “Hmmm.  I wonder how that got in there?  Let’s get that out of the garbage right away!  Silly art, diving in the trash can.”

But, every once in a while, there’s a project that’s special.

Sure, it’s subjective.  And I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s hard to define exactly which pieces of art capture my soul.  But I’ll take a stab at it (vampire pun intended – tee hee) by showing you a couple of others before revealing the latest project that’s here to stay.

In the window sill over my bathtub sits propped a mini stained glass window.  No bigger than an envelope, it brings me immeasurable joy.  The child who’s now my middle schooler, who’s knocking on the door of the Teenage Years, brought it home, wrapped in tissue paper, held in her tiny, chubby hands, when she was only 5 years old.  She made it in Kindergarten, and she was SO excited to give it to her mommy.

It’s like the colored glass trapped little bits of that tender moment and dispenses them in sweet memories when I need them the most.

In other words, it makes me happy.

In my family room, a little ceramic creature rests on my bookshelf.  He’s whimsical and playful, and he reminds me that plain lumps of clay can become anything at all in the hands of a creative and understanding artist.

 

And when the artist is a child, even better.  Because who but a child would think to create a kowtowing lump of ephalant?

Priceless, that ephalant.

And, while not all art is charming, or pretty, or smooth, or perfect, or sweet… it is all precious.

Even when it’s…

When it’s…

Well, when it’s this:

You can see that she’s labeled one side “Aden.”  And the other side is labeled “Terrifying”, “Disturbling”, “Wolf.”

When I saw it, I gasped.

And then I clutched it to my chest in adoration.  And then I looked and gasped again.

Because I love this piece of art so much it makes my stomach hurt.

I love the naked, pink ear that sticks up, horn-like, on her wolfy head.

I love the braces on the wolfy fangs.

I love the wide-eyed grimace on the Aden half.  And the long rope of gnarly, matted hair that dangles from the wolf’s head.

I love the full moon rising.  And I love the Groucho Marx brow that grows below the eye-ball all the way down to the wolf’s nose.

I love that when my daughter brought home her masterpiece, I knew exactly what to say.  If you read yesterday’s post, you know right where I’m headed.

“Wow, Aden!” I said when I caught my breath again.  “Wow!”  And with enthusiasm, “Wow, wow, wow!”

I’m going to frame it.  I am.

And then I’m going to hang it up in my house someplace public where visitors and guests will wonder about it.

Because I know that this is one of the special ones.  It’s a piece of art that transcends the typical childhood project and captures something of the beautiful, unexpected, what-the-heck-just-happened, serendipitous nature of my Aden girl.  And every time I gaze upon it, I know – I will smile.

My hand to God… I do not need super strength, super powers, or perpetual, immortal, extraordinary hotness when I can have a third grade werewolf masterpiece instead.

I am content with Wow.