So at the end of last week, I’m pulling into the driveway after work and I notice that the entire North side of my brick house is covered in pictures and writing of some kind none of which is higher than about 3 feet off the ground.
The work itself appears to be some kind of self-directed, mixed medium mural using chalk, magic marker, finger paint, glue, tape and yarn …combining elements of both neo-classical and cubist styles.
Also on the side of the house in 2 foot high purple letters were the words “Lily” and “Jane”.
Clearly, it wasn’t going to take Angela Lansbury to solve this mystery.
After locating the young artist, I said “Lily, did you draw all over the side of the house?”
And while I’m not an expert at reading the faces of 7 year olds, my daughter gave me a look that said something to the effect of:
“I know the evidence points strongly against me but some part of it is definitely circumstantial, Daddy.
Therefore, under the advice of legal counsel, I will plead guilty to the lesser offense of criminal mischief if you will agree to drop the charges of reckless endangerment and defacing private property.
In closing, allow me to add, that if the chalk does not fit, you must acquit.”
I’m ball parking it here. But that’s my interpretation.
Realizing there was no way out of this particular scenario, Lily finally copped and said, “Yes, Daddy. I drew on the side of the house.”
I said, “Lil, you know we only draw on paper in our house. We don’t draw on walls, or floors, or the car, or bedroom furniture, or our brothers and sisters, or the neighbors dog, or the side of the house, do we? So why did you do that?”
And she said, “Well, my teacher told me that we have to listen to our artist’s voice and my artist’s voice told me to draw on the house.”
I said, “Honey, I like the fact that you can hear your artist’s voice but what I really want you to hear is your FATHER’S voice telling you that in our house, we only draw on paper. Understand? Now, you and I are going to have to clean this up!”
“Alright, Daddy. But if my father’s voice would tell me to do FUN things instead of always being MEAN I might listen to it more!”
And with that, she turned on her heel and went back in the house.
As a parent, sometimes you gotta be Mother Theresa and sometimes you gotta be Napolean. But I figure as long as your citizens aren’t in full-on revolt, you’re doing mostly okay.