Just like most families, children’s artwork abounds in our home. Two of the four younger residents are eager and productive artistes, so it would be very easy to cover several refrigerators a week with their creations. Instead, we generally keep ours bare, leaving room for boring grown-up stuff, and even that at a bare minimum. But rest assured, our children’s art is of the utmost importance to us! We just like a clean fridge. Our method for this onslaught is as follows: the less important works of art move to the circular file, the artist being the judge. Then special items meant for me are thumb-tacked to the wall of my arts and crafts room in the basement, or at least in a pile waiting to be hung there. Their dad takes his to work, where he has accumulated quite a collection.
But every so often, something very special comes along that merits unique attention. One such item was a beautiful painting from our son Zach. Four years ago, when he was just four years old, he was sitting at the kitchen table with some new glitter paints, a sheet of that great old-fashioned easel paper, and a couple big chunky brushes in front of him. I was cleaning the kitchen, and Zach seemed to be distracted, watching me tidy things up. I was fussing with a beautiful bouquet of brilliant irises in a vibrant red vase, a gift from my husband for our anniversary a couple days earlier. It was then that I realized Zach wasn’t mesmerized by his mother’s cleaning; he was studying the vase of flowers and painting a masterpiece still life. He told me the flowers from Daddy were pretty and that he thought it would be nice to paint them. When it was dry, I had him sign his creation, backwards Z and all, and I cropped it, framed it, and hung it up. Above it went a portrait of this sweet boy at the ripe old age of four, so that I’ll always remember the little face that gave those flowers a chance to live on.
These two items have hung together ever since, first in the kitchen of the house we lived in at the time, and now in our bedroom in our current home. It still gives Zach a feeling of pride and accomplishment when he sees it, even though he was just what he would call a “little kid” then. You can check back with me in ten or twenty year’s time, and I’m fairly certain that wherever I may be hanging my hat, I’ll also be hanging my four-year-old’s portrait and work of art together in a place of honor.
Our home has lots of little treasures like this. They are the finest pieces of art we own. Not even the Louvre can top the treasures this home boasts. So, what have your children made for you that’s special? And how could you display it in a way that boosts their confidence and tells them how much you cherish them? Get them involved in choosing their best work, which only they can judge, and give it its proper place in your home. Why don’t you go check that fridge right now…