Usually we rely on a person’s changes of appearance or language to discern his or her differences. However, changes over a short period of time are too subtle to detect. At this time, lines can serve a similar function.
I haven’t babysat for a long while, and since Von doesn’t feel like going out with his parents, we stay at home to doodle. Not having drawn with him for several months, I am kind of shocked to find that he holds a pen much better than before. Also, he has acquired a stronger sense of space. After taking the art lesson for more than three months, his progress is demonstrated in the ways he mixes colors. Overall, he appears to be more confident. I look at his colorful parts, saying with envy, “This is well done. I want to do the same.” He replies, “You do a great job too. Leave me the pencils you just used. I would like to take a try.” Then he asks a series of questions about the results of mixing different sets of colors, from which we derive a lot of fun in making crazy guesses and acting really silly.
Lately I’ve been interested in mechanical exercise, either in typography or visual patterns. I can’t help scribbling in my sketchbook when I see something I find worth imitating. Through the everyday practice, I thus realize that my lines today differ from those of yesterday, not to mention the change in a few months. When others are aware of it, I will be a world far from where I am. Now Von’s growth pushes me to move forward as well.
Though we are constantly gaining something, we are losing something else in the meanwhile. Knowing that Von takes a particular fancy to London and double-deckers, I invite him to come visit me when I make it there. He would have said, “I’ll ask Mommy to take me,” a few months ago. Now he weighs the reality before answering, “I can’t speak English.” I am rather amused, wondering how come it didn’t occur to him that I can. Fortunately, after we finish the picture, I ask him if he’d like to take it home. He says with his typical thoughtfulness, “I want you to keep it because when you miss me, you can look at it.” Every day in life evaporates at the speed of light, but I want to remember Von’s words and lines at this moment, forever.