How Pablo Wound up as “Picasso”



I miss my mom today. Her name is Carol.

I am not missing her in a “feel like weeping about it way.”

Today I just miss her.

I miss her in an, “oh. yeah, that’s it!” kind of manner.

When I was a child my mother said to me,

‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general.

If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’

Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”
― Pablo Picasso

The other day my son brought a friend along while we cheered on Will. His last high school cross country season is nearing a close. I brought a couple of boxes of cookies and some drinks because I didn’t know how long things would go and Joe’s Intermediate School ends in the late afternoon.

I could describe the energy that I put into trying to pick out drinks and snacks. I was looking for some that are sure to please the pursuit to popularity that is the hallmark of tweendom. It would be an embarrassing and boring discourse though.

Noble pursuit none the less – these things do matter when you are eleven.

I like this age a lot. The confusion is hour to hour though. Pleasing them is like trying to throw darts with a feather in one hand, and a fork in the other.

This I know, because I’ve been through it twice. Never before with this guy…but twice none the same.

I think the most important thing I learned during my previous trial and error tween train rides was the basic truth that their hormones are flowing indeed, but it’s random. Occasionally the preteen sons of my husband, I would guess, (having never been a boy) are starting to have superman moments.

In our family that often means basketball knowledge and skill, and most recently, baseball and running.



my husband John mentors much more than that though. (I sort of hate sports).

In Cooperville, being Superman also means making a difference in the world. And the shoes to be filled are big. He doesn’t encourage little change.

I do. I’m more of a trees in the forest kind of parent.

We’re talking Ghandi, JFK, Kareem Abdul and C.S. Lewis kinds of “the Kingdom is ours boys so let’s make it a good place!” types of talks and speeches.

Sometimes, I have overwhelming moments of pride in each of them when they pay attention to dad’s encouragement to be something huge. To be the unique change that they were each meant to be.

How can I not be glad when they get his point that a beautiful hookshot and Ghandi’s insistent smile are indeed connected. Thinking through either one can be a reason to keep moving in the Kingdom of God as if the world is becoming what it should be.

I’m not sure how he keeps that thinking cap on because what I see is that the forest around us is sorely lacking caped justice in a telephone booth and Aslan was more powerful when he was on paper rather than screen.

So, the missing my mom part? It would be nice to brag out loud to her that I haven’t forgotten to remind John Isaiah, Will and Joe, that in the end, they each are who they are.

That it’s actually just that simple.

She told my brother and I that this is our first time on the earth. She warned us that we better stay on task and ride the ride, because we will never be re-invented to the core again .

On the other hand, it was a fairly awesome day last weekend when my youngest found a photo I put out of myself at his age and he claimed that it was a photo of his very self.

And in response he didn’t have a superman surge of muscle – more like a goofy Kate dance around the house like the kid that he still is moment.

Looking for a good song that, I think, is about trying to be okay with another young man flying the Coop soon? Look up Joshua Radin’s “Everything’s Going to Be Alright (Will’s Lullabye).”

It’s sweet. Just like my William.

11 thoughts on “How Pablo Wound up as “Picasso”

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