Thursday, September 01, 2005

Kindergarten blues

I know that I take a lot of time on this blog talking about my kids, especially Ariel's development into a young girl.

But tonight I realized that Ariel really is still a little girl in all the most fundamental ways. She sometimes acts older and I remain convinced that she is ahead of the curve in a lot of developmental stages, but she is (after all) only five years old.

Tonight she got upset as we were trying to get her down to bed. Not extremely angry or throwing a tantrum but just general crying and weeping. The cause? I think it was a feeling that she isn't getting enough attention. Tegan has been working too hard and while I have been handling both kids lately, I have had to focus more on Ruth . . . because she needs more attention being younger and because she's been sick lately. And, I had always reasoned this choice by saying that Ariel is older and can play more by herself if necessary.

Well, I think Ariel is bothered by all of this and maybe she is feeling a bit of psychic stress about next week's upcoming kindergarten start. It has been so long ago since I was in school, and impossible to recall what kindergarten was like anyway, that I don't recall the turbulence that schools can place on kids, especially when they are experiencing it for the first time.

So, I was reminded tonight about Ariel's still tender years and the fact that she has many years to go before she is self-sufficient and more than willing to avoid me and ignore whatever I say.

Having said all of that, please stop a moment and marvel at this recent drawing done by Ariel. She created it weeks ago, but it was done in pencil and on a legal sized piece of paper. That is important because it took me a while to trace the pencil with ink and then reduce the original image to fit on my scanner bed.

It is still a bit hard to tell what is going on, but I can provide a bit of explanation. Down in the bottom corner is a small girl who is holding a kite by a very long string (the kite is in the upper left corner). What is strange about the picture, however, is that the girl is dreaming about another person who is the central image of the drawing. This boy and his dog are both wearing crowns and are the most detailed figures in the picture. This boy is also dreaming of something in the top right corner of the page, but it isn't clear what that dream figure is. Surrounding this central dream bubble are a mixed up collection of random letters.

What I found most striking about this picture is its surreal quality: someone dreaming something that is also dreaming about something. It's kind of like Salvador Dali, but without all of the artistic training.

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