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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Our Second Son Steps Out in Art

teen-art-classYou all know about Petya, 17.5, recent high school grad headed for college in the fall, great internship-part time job, with another part-time job on the golf course which is his second-favorite sport after tennis. He’s got stuff going on right and left.

His younger brother, not so much.

Pasha is the same age, from the same orphanage. Petya was unwilling to leave him behind and so we pursued him for four long years. The Russians did everything to hide him, move him, put him in foster care—anything to keep him from us. But eventually, we got him.

They let us know in no uncertain terms: he will destroy your life.th

There have been a few of those days.

We could understand that there was slight brain damage, causing some slowness in terms of emotional maturity, the ability to read quickly and comprehend, etc. Nevertheless, he has made huge strides in the six years since he has been home, arriving just before his 12th birthday.

About the only thing that he’s good at is art. He can sketch well, but refuses to practice, which follows the line of thinking that, if it’s practice, it’s work. Then it’s not fun.

woman-in-adult-education-art-classAnd Fun is Everything. Particularly when you’re five years old.

We got him a few art classes once upon a time. They were slow, and quiet, and sometimes he was the only student. He did seem to learn a bit, though.

Then we tried online classes. He enjoyed them, but did not have much time to devote to it, as he falls behind in his schoolwork each year, and labors round-the-clock completing that.

His father and I felt that he needed to be in a creative environment, around other pseudo-artists with skills and perspectives that would challenge him. But show me an art class that does not have its fair share of weirdos… and he certainly didn’t need any nudge in strange directions, impressionable soul that he is.

At last, we found one that he could attend on Tuesday mornings for the next couple of months, open to older teens and istock_000002559264mediumadults. Perfect.

Naturally, I was out of town for the big day, but that didn’t stop me from hovering.

Text to Petya: Tell your brother to shave. See what he’s wearing.

Text from Petya: Black pants, black polo.

From Moi: They said it should be old clothes.

From Petya: We have no old clothes.

From Moi: True. I’ll text Papa.

From Moi to Benedetto: Did you review his supplies? (All of this after the kid goes brain-dead when I’m quizzing him last week about his art supplies. He does not remember the word for charcoal pencil, pastels, sketch pad, you name it….)

Art ClassBenedetto: Check.

Moi: Does he have his apron? On his tall body it will probably be more like a bib….

Benedetto: Check.

Moi: Chapstick?

Benedetto: I’ll check.

Moi: His teacher’s name?

Benedetto: Check.

These are the minor things that add up. I was impressed. His father appeared to have handled it. Of course, an art-class-15international incident could always take place during class….

(Ring, ring): Hello, Mama?

Moi: Dah, Pasha….

Pasha: The class was wonderful! I learned a lot already.

Moi: Are you the only boy in the class?

Pasha: There are a couple of older men, the rest are ladies and girls.

Moi: I don’t want to hear about any new girlfriends….

Pasha: I’ll behave myself, Mama.

He enthusiastically related how the instructor had them draw from memory by looking at an object, then closing their eyes, and sketching it. In the beginning he was awful, but eventually grew in his ability as the morning hours passed.

“Pozdrahvlayoo!” (Congratulations) I told him, as a new and colorful chapter began.


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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    There is something for everybody. Congrats to all of your children for beginning to discover themeselves!

  2. avatar Cubby says:

    “The class was wonderful. I learned a lot already.” What beautiful words.

    • avatar admin says:

      I’ll have to post some of his latest drawings sometime, Cubby– very nice as he learns to challenge himself and see how others respond in similar circumstances (i.e., deal with something new!). 🙂

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