Periodically, I have the kids attempt to copy some work of art. It’s a good exercise in attention to detail, as well as simply helping the kids remember artists and their works. So when I saw this post, and it just so happened that The Creation of Adam was in the art card set Billy was using (Step 5), it was natural for me to assign him that painting to copy.
Here is his result.
Katie also made her version, but I don’t know where it is offhand. Maybe another time I’ll post it. They’re both okay (better, probably, than I could do!).
Anyway, a neighbor girl is over here today, and Katie proudly displayed Billy’s drawing. It’s nice when the kids admire each other’s work, I think. Katie also filled in Neighbor Girl with all the facts about the painting that she knew (on a ceiling in some church somewhere, Adam being created by God, that Billy left out Eve and the angels around God, but that she included them in hers). Neighbor Girl’s comment?
“I think he should have put a fig leaf on him or something.”
Meanwhile, Peter, hovering nearby begins belting out his favorite beer drinking song. For the record, I am not proud that Peter knows any
drinking songs, let alone has a repertoire
. I’m even less happy that he prefers songs about beer to any other, and that he chooses to sing them loudly in public
. But he’s three, and I keep hoping that if I just ignore him, he’ll quit on his own. Still hoping.
Neighbor Girl hears the boy’s song and makes a comment about its appropriateness.
Great, I think. Now I’ve got a 9 year old judging my mothering skills. What kind of a house are you running here, lady? Nudity…beer…just call Child Services on me already.
But what’s interesting to me is that this girl is the one who’s been telling my girls the “truth” about the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. This girl, is in fact, so much more worldly than any of my children, that I closely monitor their interaction and have had a number of conversations about how not all families are alike. It’s a delicate situation, with no easy answers, when the only child in the neighborhood is not the best suited for your children.
It reminds me of something I read somewhere (but have forgotten where, so if you know please tell me), that says that to the innocent, all things are innocent, but to those who are not innocent, nothing is innocent. Although my five older children are aware that it is unacceptable, in general, to run around without clothes on, and are also aware, in general, that drunkenness is sinful, their knowledge of such matters is more “book knowledge” than experiential. Adam was naked in the Garden, so of course, he would be naked in his Creation. No big deal. And singing about drinking? It’s just something that grownups do. They’ve never seen anyone drunk, and certainly never seen the ramifications of alcoholism or binge drinking. Nakedness and drinking are innocent things to their innocent eyes.
But Neighbor Girl lives in the Real World where sex and drugs have such a grip that parents and teachers feel they need to teach children from a young age to avoid them. And there is no way to do that without educating them about what they are in the first place. Eat the apple so you have knowledge, so you know what you shouldn’t know, you know? I don’t blame the system. That stuff is out there, and I see why parents want to teach their children what to avoid.
It’s just sad that we have to destroy their innocence in order to protect it.