I got an early father’s day present last night. The kids had been to The Paintin’ Place which is where you can go paint a little plaster statue for not too much money. My kids love that place; we’ve lived here for seven years and I’ve now got seven figurines of various levels of sophistication. This year, I got a green dragon and a multicolored parrot.

They love doing this. The intensity they show is sometimes scary. They get so animated just telling me about the experience; what colors they chose, how it felt to paint them on, how they put the final glaze on, etc. Then they ask me over and over if I like them. I’m not sure if they don’t believe me when I say yes or if they just like to hear that affirmation. Then they want to know exactly where I intend to put them in my office and what will become of the ones that are there now. They even went so far as to wonder what I will do with all of them after I retire (which is, unfortunately, at least 25 years off). My son suggested I build a special display case.

One year, I made the mistake of bringing some of them home. That was apparently a faux pas of gargantuan proportions; I’m still explaining and apologizing for that one. They took great offense.

As artists, they could never bear to sell anything – there’s too much of their souls tied up in them to part with them. I guess I can only commit to being the caretaker of their works while I can.

It’s a pleasure to see them enjoy something as much as that. What will become of that passion as they get older? What if they want to pursue it more seriously?

Parenting is not for sissies!