Tuesday, January 3



Today Sebastian and I made a run to the 100 yen shop for some supplies to make his winter holiday homework craft (a creature made of paper cups and rubber bands that jumps). Since I rarely get that much solo time with my oldest, I asked him the usual checking questions about his friends and studies, about his life in general. He told me that his favorite part of the school day was arts and crafts (second was P.E.). Later on the train, I gave him my notebook so he could occupy himself. He drew a very intricate preying mantis, the final result was something he was proud enough to show his dad when we returned. Then he drew a race car and was not satisfied with his efforts. I said something about not judging his work, about how enjoying the process is what really matters. He nodded and said, "Yes, I understand that. When I am drawing I am not thinking about anything else. I am just drawing and happy. So you know, I want to work on my drawing every day so I can get better and better. I want to be able to draw everything."

The funny thing is that besides for the joyful flutterings of my heart at his words, I also felt a shadow of concern darken my mind. Was he developing a love for drawing trying to please me, as when I am home and not doing chores I am most likely drawing? I want his passions and pursuits to be his own, uninfluenced by me. Of course, I must wonder if this is even possible or even necessary. Maybe it is just part of Sebastian's fate, good or bad, to be born into a family where there are always plenty of drawing pads and charcoal around so that he can develop into who he is meant to be.

Looking at my budding artist as he copied the dragon poster hanging from the train car's ceiling, I immediately put to bed those worries. He was utterly absorbed in his work and had no concern for me, even when I told him it was our station. It is his joy, his passion even if he was introduced to it by someone else. I am glad that I can give him what he needs, including the patience to wait for him on the cold sidewalk as he broke in his new drawing pad with a picture of a neighbor's sports car. Looking up from the page, he said 'I'm going come out here again tomorrow and see what it looks like in the daytime.'. That is all Sebastian right there.


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