Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jack da Vinci

There are Jack Masterpieces in every corner of my house. On the fridge, stacked on the counters, put up on dressers so the Littles can't get them. Detailed drawings of Star Wars scenes, instructions on how to make a kite from a trash bag (with detailed illustrations for each step), and pages of writing outlining a scavenger hunt for Steve and me.

There are tin cans in Jack's room that keep becoming some new creation. First a robot, then R2-D2...then I lost track after that.

It's a bit exhausting to keep up with him sometimes, which is odd because he's so independent about the creations. He can spend hours and hours drawing scenes from a movie or writing some story. But in the middle of it, he'll pop into the kitchen with some new tool he needs. Sometimes scissors or tape (which we can never find), or more pipe cleaners (always in short supply here) or green thread or something else more obscure.

It's like being an assistant to Leonardo Da Vinci. Sometimes it's fabric and velcro to make an Anakin cape...other times popsicle sticks to make a house for Andrew's Spiderman guy. There's no way to predict.

Non-stop creating...inventing...ideas, ideas, ideas.

What he's going to become in life, I have no clue. Sometimes I am breathless with the detail in his drawings - the razor-sharp specifics that he's noticed, pulled from memory. But the overwhelming need for raw materials is a bit exhausting sometimes. It's helped with the toy-purging, though, since he needs a stack of blank paper and a Sharpie for hours on end...and then the hunt for the highly-specific resource for whatever current project he's got in mind.

This weekend, it was a plain white T-shirt. I thought there might be one around, but couldn't find it for awhile. He kept asking, and I would poke around in the laundry and drawers for a few minutes and then get distracted. He'd ask again, and I'd poke a bit more. Finally I found it in the art room closet, 2 days later, waiting for me to get up the courage to tie-dye with the kids. He asked for a Sharpie and then sat down immediately and drew an Incredible Hulk scene on it, like it was a costume...the pectoral muscles, the rips in the shirt, all of it.

When I saw what he drew on it, my stomach went weak when I thought about my half-efforts in finding the shirt. Perhaps mostly because of how patient he'd been. "You were carrying that around in your heart for awhile, weren't you, Jack? I'll bet you were really excited to create that; I'm sorry it took me so long to find the shirt." He sensed the sincerity, I know, and came over and gave me a big, long hug. That didn't help the guilt much, but it still felt nice.

I really like this little dude we made. He's worth doing mid-afternoon runs to the hardware store for metal-washers and magnets any day.

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