The birth of a passion

"Mama, what's she doing?" He asks, big brown eyes in awe of the woman painting at the esplanade.

"I don't know." (I totally know, of course.) "Let's ask her."

He literally hides behind my skirt as we approach her. I know she sees us, because she has a soft smile on her lips. But she keeps her eyes on the little canvas she's working on.

"Go on. Ask." I stage whisper.

He digs his face into my hips.

Finally, she stops painting and turns to us. We are distracting her, but she pretends it doesn't matter.

"My son, he's five, he was wondering what you were doing. Go on, Benji, ask her."

"I'm painting the statue," she says.

He finally finds his voice. "What are you going to do afterwards?"

"What do you mean?"

"With the painting? Are you going to take it home?"

"Maybe. But I have a gallery in the city. I think I'll hang it up there. Maybe someone will buy it. I hope they do."


Hours later, we're at home, playing in the yard, when he suddenly drops the sidewalk chalk and runs inside. We're busy with his brothers and with grilling dinner, so we leave him alone.

Eventually I go inside and I find him surrounded by washable paints and plastic paintbrushes.

He holds up his masterpiece, a big confident smile on his face.

"I'm an artist! I'm an artist! Just like the lady at the park! Except my statue is more better, because my painting is sooo beautiful. I'm going to be a famous and rich artist when I'm big!"

Talk about finding your passion by chance, right?