A few weeks ago, I posted about Joey’s monster.
Joey’s mother recently sent me this picture, and I teared up. Joey’s great-aunt made him gloves with his monster on them. I was surprised by my tears. After all, it had just been an art project, right?
Art is a way we all express ourselves, though (like so much of communication) it involves motor planning and motor control. As children move through development, their art becomes more intentionally. They understand the choices and control they can make as they work, and their art is a true expression of themselves.
With Joey, my greatest hope is to give him a sense of intention and agency. Art, and even somewhat silly projects like making a monster out of sticky felt, is an opportunity for him to do that. With the monster, he chose the colors, shapes, and the location of the monster’s features.
Seeing those same features portrayed on gloves – remembering how he carefully selected each shape and color – overwhelmed me. Those small decisions he made – even where the arms ended up on the paper- are on the gloves for the world to see.
It’s a small thing, and yet, so big.
My own children love the Make-A-Plate art kits, and love to color pictures at their grandparents that later end up on plates we eat off of for years. (And yes, my mother serves them food off plates that I made back in the 80s.) My girls take time on their art, but nothing like the painstaking labor Joey has to do as he makes choices and then must communicate those choices to me. And now, his art is also captured on daily items.
So, to this aunt I don’t know – thank you. Thank you for taking the time to honor Joey’s art and capture it on gloves.