Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One of the most delightful things I get to witness as a mother is Joshua's personality unfolding.  I saw hints of it even in the first days and weeks of his life, but this year has been a big year for observing his heart.  Joshua is observant, thoughtful, hard-working and sweet.  He's also out-of-this-world curious, precise--wanting every thing his quirky little way, and determined.

He's also a perfectionist.  He compares everything he does with how John or I do it.  It's especially obvious when we're coloring at the table.  In the center of this picture, you can see his five attempts at making an eye.  Only one eye was to his satisfaction (the one that looks most like an eye!), and after four *failed* attempts, he scribbled over his picture in frustration.  "It's not right!"

His expectations are larger than his abilities.

We moved on to faces.  I drew the circles (heads), eyes and noses.  Joshua drew the mouths.  I thought they were great.  He thought they weren't good enough.  He threw it to the floor in frustration.  

He wanted me to draw another head, but I encouraged him try.  "It's not right either!" he wailed, when it did not turn out perfectly round like mine.  It took some convincing to get him to use it, but he finally drew an angry face.  Maybe it was an expression of his own feelings at that moment.

Perhaps he will be a famous artist.  My brother is already trying to find a way to market his artwork.  ^-^

It breaks my heart, though, to see him being so hard on himself.  He's only three!  A perfectionist will eventually find their imperfect self very difficult to live with.....though I suppose we all have a trace of perfectionism in some area of our lives.

He'll face much greater challenges in life as he grows older and I hope he can learn to channel his perfectionism in a positive direction.  I really don't know how to help make that happen.  There are moments when, as a parent, I feel downright helpless.  I'm so glad God guides me.  

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