It's a Person

It started a week or two ago. I saw from afar, as Brooklyn made the unmistakable motion on her paper of a circle, then finished it off with one straight, deliberate line, and then another.

"It's a spider!" she announced.

"It does look like a spider!" I said. (With a little bit of a shudder. Because spiders. Yuck.)

And she went from (mostly) incoherent scribbles to (somewhat) recognizable art. Just like that.


This past weekend, she had a meltdown. Full-blown screaming, ranting, raving, can't-catch-her-breath tantrum. I let her go for awhile, but with no end in sight, I found a piece of paper and some crayons and walked over to where she was sitting.

"Draw me a picture of how you're feeling," I told her, still not expecting much beyond a mess of scribbles. (Also feeling pretty proud of myself: draw me your feelings? Genius. Parenting win, right there.)

She was so concentrated on her drawing, as I peeked at her working so diligently. I checked in with her a bit later to find this.

I hope you can see it: a large circle for the head, two smaller, fainter circles for the eyes, a line for the mouth. Two vertical lines below for the legs.

A person.

She drew a person.

"That's me sad," she said. Her demeanor had completely changed. She actually wasn't sad anymore; she was thrilled with her drawing. It went from an emotional wreck of a morning to being one of the most exciting moments in all my parenting. She continued to work on her picture awhile longer.

Representational art. Out of nowhere. We have arrived.

Since then she's continued to fill sheets with recognizable artwork. My brother babysat the other day, and when I returned I found a stack of papers filled with stick people. "Did you draw these?!?" I asked him, astounded. "No. That's what it would look like if I did though," he said. So thankfully he wasn't offended. (And still the source of my creative skills remains a mystery in my family...) I mean, so far her repertoire is limited: people and suns. I've been saving every one, slipping them out to show anyone who comes over. Artistic mommy is so proud. The thing is, they're not supposed to be able to do this yet. The human figure is supposed to be a process, and take time, and coordination, and years to get there. I showed one of her teachers at school today, who is interested in how children learn to create art. She's given a talk every semester on the creative process in very young children. "That's something a 4-year old might do!" she said. (Is that a mommy brag? Maybe. #sorrynotsorry) Yet Brooklyn pulled this out seemingly overnight.

Tyson is out-of-town for work (cue the sad cry/screaming emoji), so I keep texting him pictures of her latest creations: "Look at this! Look at this!".


Sometimes these kids surprise us, in the best of ways. It's amazing to watch her create: deliberately starting with a circle for the head, two circle eyes, a line for a mouth, "two noses" (let's hope she means nostrils), two legs, two arms, and even adding hair, all just in the right spots.

Maybe she picked up on my word for the year? I hope so. I am very, very, very excited for the many creations to come.