Let’s admit it: What parents call kiddie art are oftentimes just doodles that range from egg heads to monstrous blob portraits, whose faces only a mother (or father or both) can love. No need to be on the defensive here, though, I’m sure even the master artists had their undesirable art phase when they were kids themselves.

Rather, as a parent, you should give yourself a pat on the back (1) for supporting your kid’s attempt at the pen, even if it sometimes means sacrificing your walls, floors, curtains, clothes – practically, everything in the house – for the sake of art; (2) for being attentive to the development your kid’s work, even elevating some of them to the status of a social media post, captions and all; and (3) because you’re well on your way to discovering your kid’s ART FROM THE HEART.

Sometimes, through their art, kids capture those magic moments, which are both meaningful to them and to us.

I’m not talking about seeing the blob faces become realistic-looking Homo sapiens, although your mere motivation is a sure investment and indication that this will happen soon. Rather, it’s about those art pieces that just grab you because your kid has captured a meaningful moment in his/her work.

Here’s a few of ours:

Daddy’s caricature

I’ve always been a fan of caricatures, and I got my first one from Iva, thanks to her kindergarten who asked them to make cards for Father’s Day. Seeing the card, Regina happily sighed: “It really is you, Daddy!”

Looking at the bushy hair and the stubbles, this is definitely Daddy.

The track oval

If, God willing, Iva becomes a track star, we will auction off this drawing of hers back when she was three years old. It’s her memory of our summer jogs as a family at the Tsukuba University Senior High School (in Sakado City), one of my and Regina’s attempts at fighting off our extra pounds since coming to Japan. In her own rights, Iva is already a track star, having been back-to-back sprint champ at her kindergarten (The story on that here: Running to win).

This is probably how Iva remembers that day when she fell in love with running.

Daddy’s reminder

“Daddy, this is for you,” Iva told me one day, a self-drawn family portrait in her hand. “Whenever you get mad, you look at this picture,” she told me. Staring at the three big hearts of Mommy, Uri and Iva in the portrait, Iva made me realize that my anger was competing with my love for them. Rightly so, and biblical wisdom affirms that “Love is patient…it is not easily angered.”

My daughter had just reminded me what genuine love ought to be.

I’m still a work in progress as regards this area, but I do look at the drawing every now and then to remind myself that if I love my family, which I do, I need to keep striving to fan those flames of anger out of our home.

Remember, Daddy, love is patient. It is not easily angered.