Our kids do a lot of things at earlier ages than we did. Computer games, for example. Elliot started Reader Rabbit Toddler at 2 ½. I was already 30, and not nearly as enthralled at being able to move the mouse to pop onscreen bubbles.
Still, I didn’t expect Ilsa to have her first art exhibition before she was even 12. I mean, I knew she was talented when she already drew “mommy and daddy” with curls (me) and bald head (Donn) before she was even 3, but I also realize that I tend to exaggerate my children’s accomplishments. (Seriously, though, they are brilliant. And adorable. And really really sweet. Except when they aren’t.) Donn was 20ish before he had an art exhibition, and I haven’t had one yet and the chances aren’t looking good for me at all, frankly.
When we stayed with our friends in their basement back in November, my friend Kate was making cards to sell to raise money for the Children’s Hospital. She is a talented artist, who took children’s simple drawings and transformed them into enchanting designs that she silkscreened onto paper. The cards were great. I bought some that eventually my sister-in-law (not you Kris; I got you something else) and mother-in-law will get. Someday. (And I just went back to get that URL to that post and realized that many of you wanted to see those cards and I never posted them. Well, you can be thankful that I never did send them to people for Christmas! Once again, procrastination proves to be the better choice!!)
Kate decided to do a children’s art class, and invited Ilsa to be one of her first students. As a finish, she organized an art exhibition for the 3 of them at the Korean Embassy the end of February.
It was a cold, rainy Saturday morning as Ilsa and I headed downtown to the flower market to buy a bouquet for the girls to present to the teacher. Ilsa had already attended a special class, held by Kate, on how to behave in case the Korean Ambassador made an appearance. We rushed home with a gorgeous arrangement of lilies and roses and I once again forced Ilsa to wear that horrible black skirt that makes her look like a 30 year old hag.
A small ceremony was held at about 11 a.m. There were many languages in which speeches were not made–Tagalong, for example, or Lingala. Donn wanted to make one in pig-latin, as one of the few under-represented languages: “I amay osay oudpray ofay ymay oughterday…” but he was restrained by his camera. On the other hand, there were speeches in a lot of languages–Spanish, French and Arabic, for example, plus several in Korean, not to mention several in English. At the end, the girls presented Kate with a floral arrangement, which was followed by a succession of arrangements from various Korean friends culminating in a truly enormous one from the Korean Embassy itself. It was rather like the old “I Love Lucy” where Fred keeps walking behind Ethel carrying larger and larger plants, until finally our poor little arrangement was completely eclipsed and looked rather cheap and unimpressive.
Kate didn’t mind. And the girls didn’t mind either. They were all enjoying the attention, making faces for proud parents with cameras, cracking themselves up.
Here is Ilsa in front of the panel featuring her artwork. I’m sorry I don’t have close-ups of her artwork, so you can’t really appreciate it, but trust me–the kid is talented and driven, two things that make it fairly likely she could actually earn money at this. Isn‘t that the point? No? And yes, I’m sure I’ll show you a pic of Kate’s cards soon!