August 1, 2011

Fostering My People

 Seriously, this is pretty awesome for a two year old, no?

The other day, comedian Jim Gaffigan (while super funny and we are totally going to see his show in a couple weeks) tweeted:  

"At what point are we going to admit that all toddler artwork is horrible?"

Not true, Mr. Gaffigan! Boo. I'm also sticking out my bottom lip. Maybe it's because he's a dad and I'm a mom and we see their masterpieces with different heart-eyes. (Or maybe my kids are really talented and his kid is just a crappy artist? I don't really think that is the case, though.)

Before I go on any further, this post is part of Hallmark's Life is a Special Occasion, a sponsored series continuing through the rest of this year.This month's theme is encouragement. I don't think I am the best at encouraging other people or myself, but when it comes to my kids, they can do anything, and I let them know it.

And truly, does anyone celebrate the every day as a special occasion more than a child?

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Maybe it's not about the skill of how well Gray paints with watercolors or Ivy draws with chalk, it's more of the thought that they did it for me. They say, look what I made for you! And I am delighted. Or even if it's something they do for themselves, when they come to me proud and confident in their imagination's creation, how can I not exclaim my approval?!

Honestly it could be a blank piece of paper- or in Jim's words "horrible"- but their intentions... oh, the intentions. (I am certain Jim Gaffigan gets it, too, he's a cool guy. I'm just picking on him like he's picking on toddlers.)

I give each of my kids a love boost in a different way. For Noah, it's often through texts or emails and running off to Starbucks just us - he gets a vanilla bean frap and I get an iced green tea. Carter is more subtle, he's one I have to corner for a hug and a quiet praise and hidden notes on his pillow. Grayson just comes out and demands approval- he will remind me every fifteen minutes or so if I haven't made note of what a good eater/drawer/Angry Birds player/son/brother/dresser/pooper he is. Ivy surprises me every moment, with something new. She keeps it fresh and always remarkable. And now, writing this out makes me all verklempt and also, feel like the luckiest mom in the world.

I ordered all their school supplies online yesterday. I have three to buy for now. I still can't believe how long Gray's list for kindergarten is... and how short Noah's is for fifth grade. And it was just Saturday that I felt that flutter in my stomach that wait, what? Fifth grade? That means, next year is middle school.


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While this post is sponsored by Hallmark, I've always been a Gold Crown card carrier and still shop there using my own money. I picked up some Lunchbox Notes yesterday as part of my back-to-school prep. Noah & Carter often buy their lunch, but with Gray's food allergies, I'll pack his lunch at home every day. And of course I can always slip these in a pocket or folder. Nothing embarrassing! Just a little love. That's his foxy lunch box. Isn't it the cutest?

So tell me, do you really think your kids' artwork is awful? Or do you cherish every scribble? Or both?

My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso." - Pablo Picasso



Hallmark is compensating me for this sponsored post, but let me write about anything I wanted in the theme of encouragement. It would be awesome if you'd sign up for their promotional emails (you might even see me in there!) by following this link. I am partnering with Hallmark to shine a light to the Life Is A Special Occasion  blogger campaign for the rest of this year. As always, all content and opinions expressed are my own.

18 comments:

  1. my word. gray starting school! gah.

    love this. <3

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  2. i love our kids' artwork. love seeing their creativity--and i love seeing their delight in my delight over them.

    i did those lunchbox notes with chloe & anika last year & LOVE them.

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  3. LOL! Jim Gaffigan cracks me up. Toddler artwork is terrible, but only by adult standards. Good thing we don't see our kids with those eyes, or else they would be crippled by their inability to measure up to how well big kids or adults do things. I'm enough of a perfectionist myself, and I have seen how comparing myself to others has crippled me throughout my life. If I'm unable to keep house like Martha Stewart, why bother? But I'm learning to let myself off the hook and just keep house like Sara, and hopefully get a little better at it each day. Wow, I went off on a tangent, LOL! Anyway, all that to say that the skill really doesn't matter as much as the intention and the learning process.

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  4. I'm super jealous that you get to see Jim Gaffigan! We had tickets three years ago, but I ended up with strep throat and Shane went without me. I pouted the whole time he was gone.;)

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  5. i love every single line and dot my girls draw. maybe it's terrible to some, but not to me :)

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  6. I noticed the lists got shorter for my older kids too. So weird. We are just at 4th grade for the oldest. I can't believe it.

    My kids make a lot of art. Some of it is genuinely pretty good, and a lot of it is the same thing over and over. But of course I tell them I love it. I try to point out something specific that I like.

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  7. I LOVE Jim Gaffigan!!! I'm sure he really get verklempt over his kids' artwork too :)

    Thanks for the reminder of the importance of always always praising your kids. I needed it.

    ... and I also love the Picasso quote.

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  8. We're going to see Jim Gaffigan too (provided I'm not having baby)!

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  9. Great Post! I still can't believe Noah will be a 5th grader and Gray will be in school.

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  10. There are stacks everywhere in our house of the kids' drawings. I think Gabe is more sentimental than I am. There is a pile on the computer desk and he just won't do anything with it. He is saving every little scribble Tulip brings him with a "Here Papa, I made this for you." What I need is a system - any good ideas?

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  11. I think our just-turned-6 year old has his dad's artsy talent. I can't even draw a stick figure so...no, his work isn't horrible. ;)

    My mom used to pack up a card when I had a field trip. It was always a fun surprise on an already fun day!

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  12. Don't worry about Noah's height. I was not tall in 5th grade but grew 6 in. in the 6th grade. It was a long time before my brothers were taller than I am. Boys are usually shorter than girls until in high school. Of course all the boys like short girls in middle school and high school. It was not fun to be tall and thin then. Ask your dad when he started to grow?

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  13. Your little ones are so lucky to have a mama who is sensitive to their different "love languages." :)

    ~ Elizabeth

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  14. I think toddler artwork is wonderful! They put their heart into it and never expect anything in return except for a "good job!" or "Thanks, I love you!"

    I'm glad you're sending lunch notes to Gray. I still remember the notes my mom sent.

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  15. I absolutely LOVE seeing my children's artwork. I'm an abstract artist myself so I love to see the innate sense of balance and color!

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  16. K did her first watercolor "painting" the other day and let's just say it was mostly water but it was perfection, of course!!! Toddler art rocks. :-)

    That quote is fantastic.

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  17. I'm totally lovin' her art ;) (And I DO love Gaffigan... he cracks me up!)

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  18. Your post reminds me of another quote by Pablo Picasso (one of my favorites): "Every child is an artist. The problem is remaining an artist once he grows up."

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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