The short version is that Hendricks’ daughter asked permission to “complete” the illustrations she found in her mother’s new sketchbook. Hendricks reluctantly agreed — and then she saw what her child was truly capable of:
Not surprisingly, I LOVED what she drew. I had drawn a woman’s face, and she had turned her into a dinosaur-woman. It was beautiful, it was carefree, and for as much as I don’t like to share, I LOVED what she had created. Flipping through my sketchbook, I found another doodle of a face I had not yet finished. She drew a body on it, too, and I was enthralled. It was such a beautiful combination of my style and hers. And she LOVED being a part of it. She never hesitated in her intent. She wasn’t tentative. She was insistent and confident that she would of course improve any illustration I might have done. … And the thing is, she DID.
Now, I point that incredible collaboration out for two reasons: 1) because it’s simply fantastic and your life will be happier for having seen it, and 2) because I inadvertently did something similar with Juno this afternoon and the contrast is kind of comical.
[At this point I will remind you that I am neither an illustrator nor an artist ... and though my own daughter could be easily confused for any of the smaller girls in the daily Kindergarten line-up, she's really only two-and-a-bit. So we've got two years to get our Sharpies together, is what I'm saying.]
I picked up a new Crayola dry-erase crayon set the other day, and finally shared it with Jo. I drew some waves and a boat, a sun and a cloud, and by request, a cat. And some fish. Then I handed over the crayons and let her fill in the rest:
Juno: “Look, Mama! I draw a helicopter!” (pink object at right)
Me: “Ooh, Juno. That is a very excellent helicopter.”
Juno: “And a rain.” (she pointed to cloud; I gave the cat an umbrella just in case)
Me: “Junie, what’s the circle underneath the sun? Is it another cloud?”
Me: “Oh, of course. It’s a lovely moon. It’s very bright.”
Me: “Juno, what’s that?” (I pointed to pink scribble half-”submerged” below the waves)
What we lack in talent we make up for in imagination, both of us.