”Oh, there’s my best friend!”
Kaylie pointed over the counter at Scoop to several self-portraits hanging on the wall drawn by young hands. I scanned the first-grade faces in colored pencil and looked for Kay.
“I don’t know. It’s not up there.”
Bummer, I thought, Kay’s wasn’t good enough to make the wall at Scoop. I had kind of expected to see it because her older brother is an awesome artist. Not to mention that her great-grandfather was Ken Ernst, formerly the artist for the nationally syndicated comic strip Mary Worth.
Having been skipped over when it came to the artistic genes of drawing and painting, I felt a little bad for her. I remembered that as a kid my sister made fun of my drawing of a pumpkin. “What is that?” she asked as she peered over at my paper. It was a circle with stripes and a stem. It sure looked like a pumpkin to me! I demanded to see hers. It was all lumpy, shaded and 3-D. Fine.
After an afternoon of relaxing, eating ice-cream in the sun, and hunting for seashells on the beach with Riley, we all went home.
“Did you tell your Auntie Aimee about your prize, Kay?” her dad asked.
It turns out that Kay’s self-portrait was not at Scoop because it was on display at the Santa Barbara Art Fair with a blue first-place ribbon hanging on it! It was one of two pieces for which she had won first place. I’m worried I’m going to be one of those moms who unwittingly always talks about how awesome her kids are because I told almost everyone I saw that day about my niece, the first-place blue-ribbon artist. I even felt a bit better about my flat pumpkin because my niece was an artist extraordinaire! (Note to self: Aimee, do not try to live out your childhood ambitions through your child.)
A few weeks ago, when we were visiting grandpa and grandma in Bandon, Oregon, Kaylie offered to draw my portrait.
After seeing Kay’s picture, I really wished I had blow dried my hair and had more of a tan. Kay was worried she had drawn my nose facing the wrong direction. Still, I’m pleased to see my extra effort that day to put on lipstick – although it was pink, not red – did not go unnoticed. (Note to self: Aimee, be realistic with your expectations of your kids.)
Still, tell me her self-portrait isn’t worthy of bragging rights. Or, at least, a blue ribbon.