Mrs. Hughes recently sent a video of Lady Baby (wearing boots), standing on a short footstool in her kitchen, pointing to a refrigerator magnet picture of a polar bear. Under the bear, the word Alaska is spelled out. Lady Baby points to the word and tells her mother: “It says: polar bear you have to wait for your baby.” She can’t read, but she knows the power of letters and understands she can assign language to the picture – she’s making up a story.
She likes to look for pictures in my journal. When she discovered drawings of cats – she studied each one, looking for familiar features. But she liked best a pretty awful drawing of This Baby with an inky face (a rough for the postcard I sent her). She returned to it repeatedly, recognizing somebody she knew in a drawing delighted her.
I’d love to make her a storybook. I have always wanted, like lots of readers who draw, to make a children’s book. If I don’t try, I will be truly disappointed in myself. (Writing that sentence makes me feel like one of my Workroom people, and I’d be the first to encourage – dragoon the timid, badger the reluctant – into giving something long desired a try.)
Ideas for a story have come – a picture in my mind to begin, and a critical addition by our younger son over dinner one night (he handed me the very simple overall theme: Cromwell and Wolsey teach Frances about friendship). Amongst the enjoyable house thinking of April, I strayed frequently to this story.
Writing “Her spirits rose…” is a routine and a pleasure. I can always let it get in the way of doing anything else, so I’d like to use the power of that routine to work on this project. I was recently told illustration is hard, and I know that, but for love you’ll try anything. Lady Baby is tolerant and accepting – she won’t be “judgy.”
It might seem I’m taking a break (and that’s a good thing – summer is nearly upon us!). Maybe I’ll post bits and pieces, studies, the outline of the story as I make myself tackle what seems a difficult task, confronting the myriad decisions and self-doubt in such an undertaking.
And maybe, maybe, I’ll figure out why the polar bear needed to be instructed to wait for its baby!