Sunday, January 20, 2019

Two Very Good Boys

My attempt at a year-end portrait of the very important family members of some close friends. And these two boys are both, in fact, very pleasant individuals.

As always, high expectations and respectful renderings are not a recipe for better drawing on my part: that usually only happens occasionally, by accident, when I don’t care and/or am not paying attention.

But, despite an actual profession history as a sculptor of babies, I do always have better luck with drawing dogs. 

Does this reveal something? 
....Well, I can freely admit that any small person, particularly one of the infant variety, brings a whiff of PTSD to my subconscious. 

I was a member of the compulsive overachiever club until the birth of our first son, when I found it almost impossible to insure the basic mechanics of preserving life: eating and sleeping.  (My waste management skills were also subpar, but best not to dwell on that now) 

Our infant son appeared dangerously uninterested in nourishment, and was only compelled to sleep when he was supposed to be eating.  Whenever not sleep/not-eating, he resembled a human air raid alarm, going off at high volume for hours at a time. Some helpful medical professional told me that he was a “happy to starve baby” who would just waste to away to expiration unless extra measures were taken. In my previous life as an academic and professional overachiever, extra measures were my specialty. But parenting is a venue where -perhaps unsurprisingly to everyone who is not me- being extra well informed and trying extra hard are often very much not the solution. 

So perhaps every encounter with an infant reminds me of that low point in my early motherhood during which I actually paid a stranger a lot of money to write “I am doing a good job as a mom” on a scrap of paper for me to carry around. She also advised me in the workings of some tape, horrible rubber tubing and a pump, but again, that is best left undescribed here.

After this very maudlin tour through my parenting insecurities, I should conclude that the guardians of the two individuals pictured on this napkin are not in need of scraps of paper to tell them that they are doing a good job. 

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