Saturday, March 19, 2016

Eccentric = Totally Awesome

I didn't say she wasn't weird. I said she was shy.
So...The Little Flower is a strange kind of shy. She isn't afraid of people, but she's terrified of being stared at or in the middle of a stage or in front of a crowd. She doesn't want to go up front and get an award, talk to strangers (or sometimes friends), or be noticed in any meaningful way.  It's an almost crippling sort of irrational fear of being noticed.
Once you get to know the kid you realize several things:

Myrtle Beach: Paper, clipboard, bag of pens

1. She's smart. Seriously smart. Her command of sarcasm and witty puns is spectacular. (She's barely passing math, but she's killing it with the one-liners on a regular.)

2. She's funny. She always, always gets the joke and is frequently making them.

3. She's talented. We competed in Elementary Fine Arts (which is what I'm getting around to) and she had to fill out this "Artist's Concept Form" explaining how she came up with the idea and how long the piece took her to make, (don't worry, I'm going to explain this further), but "It took me one minute" is the truth. It did take her one minute. Which is mind blowing. And that brings us to...

Fine Arts

The Sticks. Lilly's musical instrument.
We never go anywhere without paper, clip board, and bag of pens
I know that her band director, Mr. David, wanted to ring her neck several days in practice. (I know exactly how he feels.) Lilly can't (and won't) play an actual instrument. She will stare at the offending instrument and at you until you simple fold. So, he handed her the sticks. (Yes, the sticks.) Which she held in her hands and touched in time, but refused to actually hit together to make sound. (Not kidding.) She held the sticks an inch apart and sort of moved them toward each other.

And to get her up there with the band, the choir director had to promise (and promise and promise and promise) that the music stand and the music would cover up not just her face but her entire upper body from the view of the crowd. The stubborn child also refused to walk up on the stage by herself. She wanted me to walk on with her and sit beside her the entire time. I bargained until we reached the agreement that I would walk up there with her, get her seated, and then sit on the front row.

Ice Cream Shop: Paper, clipboard, bag of pens.
Mr. David also desperately needed the child in the second performance to hit the cymbals together.  She didn't just balk. She refused to even look at him anymore, because, seriously? You want me to hit together two pieces of brass loudly enough to draw the eyes of everyone in the building to me? Um, no thank you. I'll just sit here and take the failing grade without batting an eyelash. Watch me. (I have no idea where she gets that from.)

Candy Store: Paper, clipboard, bag of pens.
Other things Lilly refuses to do:
1. Walk into the church by herself. (She sat outside the door on the steps one time until I came out looking for her thirty minutes later when she didn't come in from Sunday School.)
2. Walk into the school by herself. (See: People looking at her.)
3. Talk to people she doesn't know. (And sometimes to those she does know.)
4. Order food in a restaurant. (She would starve slap to death first.)
5. Go back for seconds. (Again, people looking at her.)

That is some serious stage fright, Folks.

So, now back to Fine Arts... 

Our school has a state-wide elementary competition featuring art, drama, speech, music, choir, band--so many wonderful talents. The Little Flower is an artist. She has a talent that no one else in the household has--she can express herself on a piece of paper in seconds. She can turn anyone into a cartoon and capture mood, movement, expression, emotion in several strokes of a pen. It's amazing to watch.
Ink on white paper colored pencils. "The Escape"

Well, since the stick/cymbal playing was out of the question (naturally) I wanted her to participate in the one thing she is gifted in--art. Then she asked the Big Question:

Who is going to be looking at it?
Me: Judges. Your Classmates. Your Teachers.  Everyone.
Lilly: No.
Me: But, Lil, it's a gift that God has given you and you need to share it.
Lilly: No. I'll share it with Donovin (her best friend).
Ink on white paper colored pencils "Ship Crash"
Me: That's not big enough. We are told to shine our lights in front of men in such a way so that people are pointed to God through us and our gifts.
Lilly: God is doing all right without my help.
Me: (Sigh) We are filling out the paperwork and you are entering two categories. No more discussion.
Lilly: I don't think God likes you FORCING ME to do stuff.
Me: Yes, He does. That's why I'm the mom and you are my child.
Lilly: (pout) Fine. But I don't want to SEE anyone looking at it.

Ink on White Paper Monochromatic 2nd Place "The Nativity"
So, she won. First place in polychromatic and second place in monochromatic. For drawings that took her literally minutes to draw. And when she asked if she had to go up on stage to get her awards I said, Nah. We can pick them up later. No big whoop.
Ink and colored pencils on white paper 1st Place Polychromatic "Inside Outside"
That's right, Friends and Neighbors, I'm raising the Emily Dickinson of the art world. 

(And no advice on how you would address any of those Little Flower issues, please. I'll raise mine and you raise yours, thank you very much. We think she's perfectly wonderful exactly as she is. Eccentric is Awesome in Johnsonville in every possible way.)
Ink on white paper Self Portrait "Avatar"

Self Awareness is a Gift

1 comment:

Tricia said...

I LOVE this kid!!! And her humor, and her drawings :-)!