The other day, the little grump and I were watching a show on the History Channel called Vincent Van Gogh: A Stroke of Genius. It was a fascinating account of Van Gogh, from his birth to his death. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it.
Van Gogh had a dysfunctional relationship with his parents that makes Britney Spear’s relationship with her parents seem almost normal. His mother lost a child in birth. She and her husband named the dead baby Vincent Willem Van Gogh. A year later, she gave birth to another baby. That tone lived. In memory of the lost child, the parents used the same name again. (Now we know where George Foreman got the idea!) Vincent spent his whole life trying to understand why his mother loved and grieved for the dead child more than she ever loved him. While Vincent was eccentric and had paranoid delusions, this wasn’t one of them. After his death, his mother, who had never had any use for the child let alone his work, tossed a good number of paintings in the trash.
I knew a great deal about Vincent’s life, but I didn’t know that last part. Upon hearing this, I turned to the little grump and used words that I rarely use in her presence. “That b….” (You get the idea.) As a parent, I just can’t imagine doing that with my daughter’s work. Heck, I still have scribblings and paint spatters from when she was three. They mean nothing to anyone else in the world (and likely never will), but they mean everything to me. They’re a piece of her. So I couldn’t imagine throwing them away.
When I was talking about this with my daughter, she said that she feels very similar about projects that I think of as “crap”. I had just gone on my two day frogging spree, and I was considering frogging a bit more. She pointed to a project that had been sitting on the coffee table for months. I’d totally abandoned it, unfinished, because I thought it looked goofy. She said that she couldn’t argue with a project that was clearly wrong (like a pair of socks that wouldn’t fit). However, she couldn’t understand frogging something that was nice but not just up to my tastes. She said that, while I may think that it looked terrible, she wanted it finished because it was a piece of me.
How can you say “No” to something like that?
So here he is… Finished… In all of his goofy glory… Baby Bobbi Bear.
I’m disappointed in him. His head is just not right. It’s really thick, and the decreases at the top of the head are ugly, despite the fact that I ripped it out and re-did it several times. He also doesn’t have that “love me!” glint in his eyes that I like to see in a toy.
But she loves him anyway. She says he’s soft and squooshy, and she will value him because I made him.
*sniff* I may have made a less than spectacular bear, but I’m doing one heck of a job on the little grump. I’m happy with that!