Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dreams for My Children

Photo by jimmiehomeschoolmom

Like most mothers, I tend to enjoy speculating broadly and with great enthusiasm about the auspicious careers my three sons are likely to embark upon as adults, based on the trace evidence of actual potential which I can now glean from their activities. This is fun, and allows me to feel proud about something that has actually never happened, which is a plus.

Recently I have started to wonder if it might also be interesting to simply imagine them continuing their current activities into adulthood. (Based on this same criteria, I myself could easily have been predicted to have begun a fulfilling career of dressing up cats and forcing them to occupy various "houses", as well as creating and leading egalitarian matriarchal societies entirely populated with naked Barbie dolls.

Alas, I failed to live up to this promise.

I have more hope for my children, largely because at least two of them can do math.

Photo credit by squeezeomatic
My ten year old son, Devin, could be well suited for a career as a concert musician. What I think is most likely is that he will learn to play between twelve and thirty instruments, and use them each to do solo performances of "Hot Cross Buns". He is well on his way already. He can already play "Hot Cross Buns" on the recorder, the violin, the oboe, the baritone and an African instrument called the kalimba. While it may be difficult to find a really appropriate venue for this talent, I don't totally discount the possibility. Consider the crowds drawn to see Bobby McFerrin, or Stomp. Innovation will always find a home among the arts.

(He can also play "The Lion Sleeps Tonight. AND he can hum and whistle the "Imperial March" in various different keys, alternately with seven consecutive notes of "Yellow Submarine". Most of his daylight hours are currently devoted to the pursuit of these passions.)

Let us consider my youngest, Mikalh, who is now only five. I envision him as an installation artist. Or whatever you would call someone who takes a bunch of stuff out of the recycling, adds simple craft supplies and transforms your kitchen and living room into a gallery full of robots, airplanes, and Star Wars characters. I think Van Gogh was probably a lot like this as a child.

It may be difficult to discern actual artistic talent if you are simply looking at his pieces with an eye merely for aesthetic beauty. His representational art is weaker, really, than his idea art. Set aside that it doesn’t LOOK like a robot; that, in fact, it looks like an empty gallon milk jug half filled with water and covered with colored duct tape, with a fishing reel arm and eyes made of permanent marker splotches on torn up napkin pieces. You have to really let it evoke "robot". When you do this, you will find yourself transformed by its connotation.

When I put this all in context, it really makes me feel better about spending hours wrestling cardboard boxes and Gatorade bottles out of the hands of a kindergartener, or quietly sneaking older creations into the garbage while he is asleep. I can do my part for the sake of art.

Rowan is a bit harder to make fun of, largely because, at thirteen, he

already possesses attributes that slightly resemble future job skills. I'm leaning toward microbiology for him. He really likes Ebola. In fact, he likes it so much, I am tempted to get him Ebola for his birthday. We have already had some very long, interesting conversations about Ebola, which have brought us closer together as mother and child. He admires Ebola the way some other people admire Martin Luther King Jr., or the Dalai Lama.

The other thing he really enjoys is using his USB microscope to examine the insides of his mouth and nose so he can look at them on the computer monitor.

There HAS to be work in THAT, right?

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Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License