|Patrick Star and Spongebob drawing my Kyle on his Grade 4 pad paper.|
I understand that each child has his own talent. He may start in just plain doodling then to sketching, then coloring, then to impressive art and craft works! I am amazed at Kyle's ability to focus well each time he picks up a pencil. He seems to be on his own world when he starts to draw and doodle figures. It's like he's making me guess what object he's up to, and usually I don't get it right.
|Kyle's self-portrait with his PSP while holding baby cousin Francine.|
As a young child, it was easy for me to realize Kyle's innate gift for the arts. At the age of three, while most of his peers would still try hard to hold a pencil, Kyle had a firm grasp on them. I could vividly recall how he wanted to get as much scratch paper as he can, just so he had something to write on. He would say, "Let's write K-Y-L-E" to his older cousins without thinking it was really his own name that we're teaching him to write. Since I do not encourage on watching too much TV, I'd leave boxes of crayons, colored pencils and markers on his own nook while I do my own stuff. And I would later see him with cute drawings, which I hold on dear up until this very day. I had them compiled so that when he grows up, there's something I could show him.
When he went to school, his teachers also noticed and recognized his talent. Soon, he represented his school in numerous art and on-the-spot drawing contests/poster making competitions. Of course, we don't always win. But this experience gave my young boy a chance to show his God-given talent and it had given him confidence. As a parent, I can't help but feel the pressure each time he competes just like today.
Kyle had participated in their school's poster-making contest for nutrition month. Instead of him being anxious about it, he'd say cooly, "Don't worry. It's going to be fine. I'll do my best. Whatever happens, I've given it a try. That's what matters, right?" He recently got a flak from his class adviser (yes, of all people!) when he had shown what he had planned to draw for today's contest. The teacher said it was malicious and offensive to draw a mother breastfeeding her baby. But Kyle only thought of that because the nutrition month's theme goes like this, "Isulong and breastfeeding, tama, sapat at eksklusibo." I mean, you probably see my point now why Kyle had chosen to draw one breast revealed showing a baby sucking his mother's nipple for milk. I don't see anything wrong with that. I'd like to believe that it is his teacher's thoughts that are malicious.
As a parent, I really felt bad about that. It even came to a point that Kyle wanted to quit the contest. It was his class adviser (yes that same teacher) who was supposed to support him was the same person who discouraged him. It was a good thing, Kyle listened to us. My mom (his grandma) and I tried our best to explain things to him. We made him realized that there's a bunch of group who believes in him and are behind him all the way. We made him talk to his former teachers and I was glad they had given him some kind of pep talk that somehow cheered him.
As of this time, we still do not know if my Kyle had won any of the top three awards at stake. But this early, win or lose, I know that life had given him some painful truth about this world: That no matter what you do, some people would always want a piece of you, would always criticize. But a good man (in his case, it could be a boy) can never be put down. His teacher had to be proven wrong. If he ever wins, using that same drawing, it's going to be one big slap on his teacher's face. But for now, we are all praying for his win.
I just let him be. Right now, he's done with the Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star which he doodled on his Grade four pad paper. Whatever happens, I will make sure Kyle feels blessed for the gift of his hands, because not everyone is just as lucky to be given the talent to draw something so magical, like having a real masterpiece of his own. He will continue to be my sense of pride, and I will always be proud of him.