Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sniffing Out Family

I stood looking at the art display on the wall while waiting for Sydney’s class to show up for lunch. Ah, elementary school lunch. A cuisine that only a grandma could love. Why the names of the student artist were not on the front of the art is a mystery to me. I want to see the art my granddaughters have on display.

As I stood there, it dawned on me that I should be able to find my granddaughter’s artwork as well as that of my other ‘granddaughter’, Heather. Heather is family. She comes over with the girls at least once or twice a week. I teach her to paint and to play the piano right along with my granddaughters. So as I stood there contemplating the art, I decided to figure it out on my own.

The challenge was not much of a challenge once I stood back and looked at the entire board. Heather loves to create art with letters. She is an Oregon State University fan. Deduction: The mixed media piece with OSU drawn in large letters had to be hers. Sydney’s was even easier to spy than Heather’s. I could have picked it out of the entire school. Simple, lovely and creative just like her.

I began wondering if we have an intuition, a sense of ‘our own’. Animals sense their own by scent. I’ve sniffed the tops of my granddaughters’ heads and find nothing that tells me they are mine. I can look at them and pick out other members of the family, a nose here, eyes there. Yet, I think there is another sense that maybe we overlook, a sense of recognition.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to make this some scientific discovery. No, it is much simpler. Yes, I used deductive reasoning on Heather’s picture, but something else drew me to Sydney’s picture. There were many well-done pieces yet immediately hers called to me. It wasn’t something she painted before although she loves to draw flowers. It was something more.

I looked at the pictures thinking of the kids in her class that were very talented. In fact, I think in some way I tried to find another picture that might be hers. Yet there was no doubt in my mind. When the class came down the hall, I kidnapped Sydney.

“Is this your picture?” I asked.

A grin literally went from ear to ear. “Yes,” she answered.

There is a knowing. I believe this with all my heart. There is an intuition, a voice that calls to us much as the lioness sniffing her cub. I sniff and “when is the last time you washed your hair?”

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