I am excited to share a series of guest posts with you by other Artful Parents and teachers while I step back from the blog a bit this month! I hope you enjoy the new perspectives, different ideas, and fresh energy that each brings to this space. And I encourage you to leave a comment after the post to continue the discussion, add your own viewpoint, or simply say thanks!
Guest Post by Lisa Runge
Growing up, my sister and I frequented a local ice cream shop called Every Day’s a Sundae. On the wall was a framed quotation describing the delight that must accompany the first taste of ice cream. Imagine the sensation of the cool sweetness hitting your tongue, the confusion of something cold enough to be almost painful, yet truly a revelation to the senses. And yet, there are few among us who have any recollection of this experience. And so it is with art. Many of our formative art experiences are lost to us, or at least they have coagulated into a vague memory of crayons and paste, cut paper and hallway bulletin boards.
I do not remember my son Elijah’s first taste of ice cream. It was likely fairly soon after he started on solid foods because he is incapable of allowing others to eat without managing to get a taste for himself. I knew, however, that I was not going to let his first taste of art slip by so carelessly.
The date: November 10, 2011
Age (Elijah’s): 14 months minus 4 days
The materials: A long sheet of paper, taped to the table, and Crayola Slick Sticks Twistables, as recommended by Jean.
Elijah wasn’t quite sure what to make of the whole setup. He tried to lift up the paper, and enjoyed playing with the caps. I demonstrated how to make a mark on the page, and after that he gave it a try himself. The Slick Sticks were perfect because he used them so lightly, it is doubtful that a crayon would have made much of an impression.
I must admit, he seemed to enjoy chewing on the ends of the Slick Sticks and mugging for the camera as much as the art itself, and after about 10 minutes, declared himself “all done” and ready to scoot on to the next activity, which likely involved banging on something with a stick. Brief though it was, his first artistic moment had been captured to my heart’s satisfaction, added to an ever growing list of “firsts”. Sweet, a little confusing, but altogether satisfying, it was an ice-cream-taste kind of moment. Delicious.
Lisa Runge is a teacher-turned-full-time-mom who loves long walks through the city, home cooking, children’s literature and social justice. Her life has always been full of children, but she is immensely enjoying having one to call her very own. She blogs about books, food, family and city living at Diary of a Nearly New Mom.