There’s something about kids’ drawings. Â Â I love the elongated cars with wobbly wheels, the fingers that look like chopsticks, the short flattened rainbows hovering in a white sky. Â The pictures always seem like a window into the child’s mind, a window that you can only access with a piece of paper and a box of crayons.
So it was rather fascinating when Matthew came home with a picture he’d drawn at kindergarten. Â The directions were to draw a picture of someone being a good citizen. Â This is what he drew:
“Oh, what a nice picture,” I said brightly, thinking, Am I missing something here? Â Two people, apparently sans clothing, as an example of good citizenship. Â I was getting nothing.
To be honest, I was ever-so-slightly hesitant about asking for clarification. Â Years ago, I read a book by some parenting sage who talked about how you should never look at a kid’s drawing and ask, “What is it?” Â (Apparently you are supposed to exclaim over it until the child volunteers some information that helps you figure it out.) Â But curiosity got the better of me. Â I had to know.
“So tell me,” I said, “how is this a picture about being a good citizen?”
“It’s a picture of one person sharing his ball with another person,” said Matthew patiently.Â â€œOnly I didn’t have time to draw the ball.”
Good thing I asked.