Monday, December 3, 2007

Finding Your THING?

When I was pregnant with Olivia, Loverman used to spend hour after hour wondering what our little girl’s THING would be as she grew up. He did the same while we were expecting Yannick, too. I listened and dreamed, praying only for their safe passage from the womb to the world.

As the children grow, the two of us catch glimpses of what we think may be their THING, maybe more like leanings toward their THING, but today when Olivia came home with a partial scholarship to an intensive Saturday art program at a local university, our hunches were confirmed. Olivia is an artist.

It’s really not a surprise. Our lives are surrounded by art and artists. My mom is an incredible jewelry designer, my husband’s a filmmaker, I program for a multidisciplinary presenting arts organization. In fact, years ago, I curated an exhibition which included shadowboxes made with found materials and this exhibit included some of Olivia’s early work. I think she may have been three at the time.

From day one, Yannick has been musical. I’d be surprised if music isn’t his THING. It’s in every pore of his little body. His nickname is Be-bop, because even as an infant, he’d bop back and forth to any rhythm within earshot. As a baby, his favorite book was Charlie Parker Played Be-bop. As he’s gotten older, his musical tastes seem to be gravitating towards world traditions including the polyrhythmic North Indian tabla and all things Beatles.

What a gift Miss Olivia has been given! To be affirmed of her talents at such a young age. I think knowing your THING helps to ground you. I know so many folks who are still looking for their THING, or haven’t been given the space and time to really develop what they think their THING may be.

Now, the challenge for Loverman and I will be to strike the right balance between providing support and encouragement, while not allowing this revelation to limit this child as she explores her other talents and interests. We’ve got to know when to step aside and allow nature to run its course, because who says that you can only have one THING?


Barb said...

Did your Olivia do that beautiful portrait?? I guess she is an artist! That is stunning. Looking forward to seeing more art work from Olivia!

Tam said...

I was going to ask the same question: Did Liv draw that?!! It's AMAZING! I'm not just saying that; I used to work in a museum, remember. She's definitely got a gift. I'd hang that in my house any day. (Hint. Hint!)