Sometimes, one of the boys comes up to me and asks me to take a picture of some arbitrary object, maybe a finished puzzle, a particularly satisfying Hot-Wheels configuration, a pillow and stuffed animal arrangement, or, something made from LEGOs.
Nick gave me this the other day and was particularly adamant about me taking a picture of it and printing one out for him:
I ask him why and he said, a little rudely, he just wanted one. So I did it and didn't give it much thought until I went downstairs to get the picture from the camera and print it, and then I took a good look at it. I got nothing, I flipped it around (which I have tried before) to no avail, I considered it a little too much. Finally I just decided he must like because it was unusual and pretty and he made it. Hey, I had to justify it somehow.
I went back upstairs and handed him the print. He quickly got a pair of scissors out and cut out just the LEGO shape. Surely there is a plan here, I kept thinking to myself. I asked him again and he didn't answer, he was cutting and he only does one thing at a time. I see he's done and look at him and ask him directly, "What is it?"
"I don't know, I just like it."
And then he adds, "I think it looks like a monkey."
Well there ya go, a monkey, fine... wait... it doesn't look in any way shape or form like a monkey. I mean, not even vaguely. Oh well, I just manage the madness, mine is not to judge content.
The other day Nick had about a cubic yard of LEGOs and was making something, carefully, intently, precisely. I asked him what he was making.
Okay, I guess. It just seemed like he had a plan. I let it go and went back to the kitchen where things make sense.
About six breaded chicken cutlets later I heard, through the din that is searching through a huge rolling box of LEGOs, a light bulb go off and then, in an eureka sort of tone, I heard him exclaim:
"Oh, it's helicopter!"
And so it was:
I laughed out loud at the notion that he was waiting for what it was to reveal itself. I do that. I think writers do that as we wind ourselves to a hidden truth through the words we line up. What something is ultimately going to be is often not as important as the journey that leads us to it.
Parenting is that way for me. I have a notion of what I would like my kids to be like when they grow up. But, at this point I cannot say what that will be for certain. I just hope someday they look in a mirror and think: "Hey, I'm a decent guy." I can only hand them the odd, multicolored, seemingly random pieces one at a time and see what they come up with. I am hoping for the best.
Honestly, the silly side of me had a lot of fun with this as well imagining da Vinci pounding on a rock and screaming: "Oh, it's David! Everybody, it's David, you know, the David!" Or Pollack looking down at his tarp and thinking: "Oh, it's not a mess it's abstract expressionism!" Or some cavedude in a cave in France with a mouth full of semi-masticated beast sneezing onto his hand as he is leaning against a wall to pee and thinking: "Oh, it sorta looks like a deer!" Or a potter at a wheel, sweating as he pumps his legs to keep the wheel moving exclaiming: "Oh, it's a pot!"
I guess, in a way, everything has to be revealed, or reveal itself.