Mary had a way with words that did not instill confidence in her children. When Abby and I would bring our art projects home, she would tell us not to waste our time with art since we had no talent. Abby and I soon learned to lower our expectations when it came to her praise.
When I was in sixth grade, the visiting art teacher came to our school. She taught the class about crayon resist and we worked for several days on our project. I was so proud of the picture of fish I completed that I thought maybe this time Mary would see me as a budding artist.
When we were allowed to take our pictures home, I ran home to share my masterpiece. Mary was not impressed. In fact she again reminded me that I was not born with the art gene so needed to get over it. Her exact words to me included “You’re no Picasso.”
Apparently my talents were hidden, at least from Mary. I will say she was not blessed with the confidence building gene. However, she did teach us how to accept criticism and to buck up no matter the circumstance.