On Monday I took Jack, who's five, with me to my three-hour drawing class. It was my last class, and I really didn't want to miss it, and Will had a place to go, but Jack had vacation. I packed markers, his own pad, and a banana for him and hoped for the best.
I set his pad up on an easel, which made him feel so grown up. The class members fawned over him considerably, especially the grandmothers. He smiled shyly and didn't talk much. First he drew a set of emergency vehicles and a horse, using his markers. Later he drew a rainbow, asking me the order of the colors and then numbering them. He did use some of my pressed charcoal,and drew othe objects on the table like the rest of us, a vase and a crane figurine (the bird, that is). At one point, he decided to see what the medium could do, so he grayed his paper like the rest of us had done, and rubbed the side of the charcoal over it so many times the whole thing was almost black. Then he got his eraser and made white lines, forming a grid. Very Mondrian.
I pinned his drawings to the wall like everyone else when it was time for critique. Cavin, the teacher, said, "See how Jack didn't leave out any elements of this vase." It was true; the pedestal was there, the stem, the rim around the lip. As far as I know, he has never drawn an object that is sitting in front of him before. His crane even had the feathers on it. Later I could hear him telling John what the teacher had said about his drawing, verbatim.
Then lunch at an Indian restaurent nearby. He ate pakoras, naan, some chana dal, and tandoori chicken. He didn't care for the mango juice, though, so he got apple. Every so often he would say to me in a stage whisper, "There are real Indian people here!"He was sitting there at the table, so civilized and proper, and then he would suddenly puff his cheeks out and pop them with his fingers.