Are those not the most beautiful pansies you have ever seen? They are mesmerizing in their majesty. Their fragrance puts to shame even the most beautiful of roses. Most days, the girls and I stand there for 15 or 20 minutes and gaze upon these flowers with the pride of a parent observing a particularly gifted child if that child were small, leafy, and sprouted yellow and purple petals.
Now whether any of you, my loyal readers, believe it or not, I am but a human and I am subject to the weaknesses and fallacies that beset all humankind. Where my power over growing things is, by all accounts, limitless my power over clay is less so.
This past weekend, my daughters brought over to my house their new sculpting kit. This cool little kit included clay in a myriad of colors, a cool book full of ideas, and NO instructions whatsoever.
I sat and read quietly as both girls worked diligently to create a masterpiece from the formless clay. They both labored for the better part of an hour. In fact, Lex Luthor (see previous post here) might have worked for 90 minutes on her David. Once they were both done, they asked that I bake the sculptures in order to harden them. I, of course, was happy to do so.
I scanned the pages of the included book for nearly 10 minutes in an effort to discern some sort of approach to this baking thing. Nothing. I went online and "googled." Some information popped up. I scanned to first link briefly and then with a "damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead" attitude, I fired up the oven to 300 degrees, plopped the clay creations onto a cookie sheet, and shoved them into the oven. 10 minutes later, Averi asked if something was burning. Not good. I rushed to the oven and pulled it open. Destruction was complete. I had in the span of just a few short minutes, obliterated almost an hour's hard work.
I learned two lessons from these separate but related incidents. First, spend as much time with your kids as you possibly can doing things they will love. Second, flowers are easy and clay sucks donkey.