Picasso Was Correct
Case In Point: Mother's Day 2015

Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso
I have written many times about Pablo Picasso's famous quote, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." The interesting thing is that when my three children and older grandchild were growing up, Picasso's statement did not register with me as it does now. I was more concerned about all the problems children have growing up to pause and muse over their artistic interests. However, at 72, having danced with death twice, and having two young grandchildren who are nearly 5- and 3-years old, my perception of the world is different than it was 4-decades ago. Trust me.

A week prior to Mother's Day, I went to babysit for Jack and Owen. I brought a small porcelain vase and some artificial flowers to have them make a bouquet for their mother. I told them that this would make a floral arrangement for their Mother's Day gift. They were excited.

I put the materials necessary for their creative expression on their playroom floor: a small porcelain vase and the artificial flowers. Before driving down from Crown Point, I had taken a piece of Styrofoam, which I put into the base of the vase to hold their floral arrangement.

However, Jack paused and looked very concerned as he examined the vase. He could not figure out how he and Owen would put flowers in a vase that was already filled with Styrofoam. Therefore, I took one blue flower stem and pushed it into the Styrofoam. The noise created by the flower stem going into the Styrofoam got both Jack and Owen laughing. After the excitement with the noise, I asked Jack whether he understood what we were going to do. His retort was, "I know; I can do it."


Jack liked the sound made when pushing the stem into the Styrofoam.


Owen wanted to rearrange one of the blue flowers. If this was to be a gift for their mother, it was to be prefect.

Jack arranging

Having gotten the blue flowers in, the next step was to get the yellow ones into the vase. Owen sat back after putting in his first yellow flowers while Jack did his.

Owen arranging

Jack instructs Owen where to place his second group of yellow flowers. However, Owen needs to ponder whether to follow his brother's suggestion.

As they finished their masterpiece, I told them that this was a surprise for their mother. We wrapped it up, and they would have to wait until Sunday to give it to her. On the following Monday, I took this picture of the creative artists, their mother, and the floral masterpiece.

Jack, Owen, and their mom

Jack and Owen truly felt that they accomplished something artistic for their mother. Picasso was correct. "Every child is an artist...." Jack and Owen were excited to create this gift. The feeling of accomplishment and her liking their work was something to behold. However, when Jack and Owen are a couple years older, they will have forgotten about that moment. Nonetheless, I hope that they still are artists as they were as toddlers.

Now, I have a couple weeks to figure out something that they can create for their daddy on Father's Day.

Dr. Kaakaji Dr. Kaakaji
This is a postscript to Picasso's insight. When I fell off a ladder and hit my head on a concrete paving block, Dr. Kaakaji, the neurosurgeon, had to open the side of my head and take out a bagel-size part of my skull. He did this procedure so that my brain could expand due to the traumatic brain injury without damaging my brain as it expanded. Interestingly, he said to my family after the surgery that I had the youngest brain for a man of my age that he had seen in all his years of neurosurgery.
As I recovered from the fall, I mused over Dr. Kaakaji's comment. I liked thinking that my brain was young...like Jack and Owen's brains. His observation of my youthful brain might explain why I picked out two types of bricks for my home. The builder thought that I was crazy to have two varieties. I insisted. He insisted that I would have to mix the two types by hand if I want a blended brick façade on the house.

Once the brickwork was completed, I started several series of artificial flowers to complement the brick. This is the most recent spring arrangement.

Wreaths Floral arrangement
This is above the garage door. This is next to the front door.

The following are some floral arrangements inside the house.

Floral arrangement on mantle

Floral vase Vases

Center piece

Floral bucket


At least, Pablo Picasso and Dr. Kaakaji would be proud of my child-like creativity.