My Heart Aches

Her cheeks are wet from tears and I am taken back to a childhood memory.   I know first hand and have felt her pain.   Dear God, give me the words.   Words that will lessen the hurt and minimize the damage. 

The tears come because her art teacher critiqued her drawing.   Ah, yes, I have been there, I know.   I am taken back to my third grade class room, my teacher with my art project in hand looks at me and remarks that my art projects never "work out" do they?  I was crushed.   If I didn't cry, I felt like it.   I never again in my growing up years pursued anything creative or artistic.  It wasn't until I read a book, as a grown woman, that I found there was a creative side to me and it was waiting to be released.   Due to one off hand comment, I had buried that side of me. 

She loves to draw and create, it is part of who she is.  I understand that part of art is learning and critiquing.  But my maternal protectiveness wants to tell that art teacher she was out of line.   I want to tell her that these are first graders, not professional artists.   But I can't.   Instead I wrap my arms around my daughter and hold her.  As I dry her cheeks, I tell her that she is a great artist.   I tell her about Vincent van Gogh, a world famous artist now, but few appreciated his art while he was alive.   I tell her about Einstein who people misunderstood and thought he was less than brilliant.  But he didn't let that stop him, he kept trying.   People don't always understand brilliance at the time, but that does not mean that we can give up.   I told her to keep trying, to keep drawing, and to not give up.  

I know she will rebound, she is resilient like that, but it doesn't minimize the hurt.   It doesn't make my heart feel any less heavy.   As I head downstairs to begin my evening of teaching, I am reminded that in my daily contact with my students how careful I have to be.  In my mind, a teacher/student relationship should be precious.   There is a trust there that should not be taken lightly.   I don't want to take the joy out of music for anyone due to an off handed remark or a bad day.  

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