This evening was awards night. We spent several hours in the auditorium being duly impressed by the very real accomplishments of the seniors. Mike was among those honored, but in his usual way, his were of a slightly different nature.
Most of the class will be continuing on to formal college, a fair percentage to first tier well know universities, many on scholarship. It is our very deliberate choice that he will not follow this route at this time. His talent lies in his ability to create beauty and this will be fostered with specific instruction.
The school board acquires one piece of student art annually for it's permanent collection. This year they selected and purchased one of Mike's paintings. He's already sold a few others privately. His other award was for his collective body of original work in wood for the year. A table, a chess set, some other pieces. A number of these he's given to others as gifts. He enjoys sharing.
Many, most, parents watch a child being born, as I did, and have enormous hopes for where they will go and what they will do. I did as well, although my definition was somewhat less formal. I simply wanted them all to do well, in something that they would be happy with, and the only economic stipulation was that they could make enough of an honest living to support themselves and their own family.
It happened that I came upon a quotation this evening - a lesser known piece attributed to St Francis of Assisi. "A man that works with his hands is a laborer. A man that works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. But one that works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."
He is still learning skills, but Michael is indeed an artist.
I am not only not disappointed, I am in fact very pleased and proud.