In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
About three years ago I made a table for my daughter, Meghan. About two years ago she and I started to decorate it using some stencils of butterflies, stars and flowers that she had and a little impromptu stuff like the “Queen Bee” (which you might guess is supposed to be me), but we never finished it. A few months ago, she was mad at me so she took her markers and made some random marks all over the desk. I was pretty upset because it was such a personal thing for her to destroy and it hurt my feelings. Of course, that was her intention. She later regretted it and felt sad that the table was ruined beyond repair. I decided to try to fix it and surprise her with the results, which you can see below in two parts (left and right sides…couldn’t get it all in one frame). I had to get creative and use the vines to cover up the marks. She really likes it and now we can finally do the finishing touch of putting polyurethane on it.
I understand why she did what she did. I remember being young and mad at my mother but unsure as to how to strike back at her without getting the snot beat out of me. Little girls are good at figuring out how to hurt their parents’ feelings–maybe it’s an evolutionary aspect to our gender. Ultimately though, we both liked the end result. Me because it seems so whimsical and I was able to save it. And she because I loved her enough to try to save it and I forgave her for messing it up in the first place. But it’s the story behind it that I think I will always remember.