A few days ago, when we were painting, Maddy decided she wanted to paint a cat.
This little orange tabby is her final product, the one she worked hardest on, her most proud painting accomplishment to date.
Her patient Aunt Mary walked her through the steps of creating a cat, after Maddy, who frustrates easily, tossed aside several attempts.
Instead of throwing away her “mess-ups” as she called them, I stuck them in a secret pile, and I made a book for her.
- Maddy’s Cat Book: I wrote Maddy’s Cat Book on the cover, and I strung ribbon through holes for a binding. Here are the pages. . .
This one’s nose wasn’t quite right (he’s got an ‘x’, too). . .
But she tried and tried again, and she finally made one she was happy with!
For a little one who tends to be hard on herself and is always striving for perfection, I thought that putting these pieces together might show her–remind her–that hard work pays off, that we need to keep trying and trying again, and that sometimes we learn more through the journey. All of those super-important lessons that take so long to learn, I tried to shove into this tiny, simple book.
When I showed her the book a few days later, she wouldn’t stop smiling, and I told her that we were so proud of her for not giving up. It’s been on her nightstand ever since.