This morning Tim and I had a dog walk together.

I relayed to him my bed-time booster conversation with Alina the night before:
“When people think about Alina, the word which springs to mind is Power. Power. Power of brain, muscle power, power of imagination, memory… You are powerful, Alina.”

I do this remedial conversations with Alina because I feel that she is a very sensitive child who, inspite of her huge and multiple powers, tends to downplay herself. Not in a small degree because she is so ahead of the game amongst her peers in many areas. It is uncomfortable to be noticeably different. She is very tall too!

Generally, Life encourages diversity within unity. Unity is the safety, diversity is the progress. But diversity has to prove its resilience in order to survive and contribute to Life. If it doesn’t have enough stubborn gut power to overcome the pressure of the mass which wants every unit to support the unity, then it becomes a thwarted cripple which was born to be different but didn’t make it.

And so, I encourage Alina to embrace her uniqueness, to be proud of it. To stand tall and to reach high never mind what the others think, say or do. It is a balancing game – observe, encourage, listen, counter the “masses” opinions…

Yesterday, to my cooing over her powers she half-jokingly said: I am spekal (mispronounced “special” echoing a character in the play we watched recently “The Play Which Goes Wrong” – brilliant!). I am spekal, – she said, – I am “gifted and talented” (the label the educational system gives to the top 10% of the pupils).

Tim and I laughed about this response of hers, and he expressed a concern that there is a danger of her attitude going too far the other way, towards arrogance. He in turn told me about a conversation between Alina and the mum of her best friend. Chloe, the mum, said that Daisy was being called a “teachers’ pet” at school. To which Alina proposed: “She should turn around and say: “Well, sorry for being that much cleverer than you lot!”

We laughed. “Great, – said I, – one mustn’t feel apologetic for one’s prowess!”

I pondered about it later. Perhaps Tim indeed thinks that getting big-headed is a real danger for Alina. I don’t. And even if she did, I’d rather have her do that than belittling herself in order to fit in with the majority.

In the situations like Daisy’s, which is SO normal, those children who call the others “teachers’ pets” are the aggressors. For their own security, they want to bully anyone who is MORE than themselves into mediocrity. So, those who ARE MORE must never succumb. Succumbing is denying oneself one’s nature. It is self-sabotage, it is moral suicide. And on the long run and bigger scale giving in doesn’t do any good to those bullies either.

If you are a star, don’t let anyone bully you into becoming an asteroid.

Portrait art by Marina Kim

Portrait of Alina or “No Climbing”

Me and My Girls

April 30, 2015

This February half-term we didn’t go anywhere, and while my girls were home and the light was good, I bribed them to sit for the portraits.

After all, last time I painted them was at least a couple of years ago, and I never painted them from life, always from photos. Now that they are old enough and well-trained by various educational institutions, no reason why they couldn’t sit still each for 10 or so hours…

Well, it took some modeling fees and also, during the sittings, they were watching films. Only sometimes in the last session each was required to look at me to paint their eyes. Still, they took the whole experience as yet another chore which their wicked mother imposed on them and that shows clearly in the portraits!

Portrait of Eva Roche age 13

Eva

Portrait of Eva Roche, age 13
Oil on canvas
70×50 cm

Marina Kim. Portraiture

Alina

Portrait of Alina Roche, age 11
Oil on canvas
70×50 cm

Me and my girls!

Marina Kim portrait artist

Me and My Girls

I don’t agree with some of his conclusions, like the one below, for instance. But this one I do agree with.

14 Excellent Parenting Tips From Louis CK

It’s hard having kids because it’s boring.

On teaching:  Now, implementing it all of the time is a bit tricky… Right there, I think, he is talking to himself. I’d be talking to myself in this same situation. I am talking to myself all of the time anyway, and that is exactly what I usually say. To myself.

14 Excellent Parenting Tips From Louis CK.

Louis CK on Boredom.

14 Excellent Parenting Tips From Louis CK.

Happy Chinese New Year!

February 1, 2014

2014 - The Year of Horse

2014 – The Year of Horse

Yesterday, we were having an ordinary family supper, admittedly, with a little wine. Nothing out of our usual routine. It was only Alina(10) with us, as Eva(12) went to a sleepover at Jades. Tim raised his glass and said “Cheers!”. We all cheered and went on about our supper, when Alina solemnly said: “Might I suggest that we celebrate a Chinese New Year today”… I adore this little girl! She can be so unexpectedly funny sometimes 🙂

Mind you, she is not that little any more!

It is such a joy – to watch your own child grow. And every time it comes to my attention, I feel so happy that I am lucky enough to have it. We often take it for granted, my dear friends 🙂 … Although yes, sometimes, very rarely, they can be a pain in the arse!

So, Nappy Chinese New Year of the Wooden Horse!

Wooden horse

Wooden Horse

 

Art and Sweetcorn

May 7, 2011

In September 2009 my younger daughter Alina came to my studio for an hour or two. That visit led to an illustrated short story “Art and Sweetcorn”.
Here it is:

Illustrated short story "art and Sweetcorn"

Alina Making Art

Sweetcorn is hot this season.

On the way to the studio I made a detour to the Farmers’ Market, but going home in the evening forgot the bag with the goodies behind.

– Alina, I’ve got sweetcorn in the studio. Would you like to come with me to get it?
– Ye-ye-yeah!

Off we go.
Out of the door, turn left…

– Mummy, can we take the shortcut?
– That way takes longer, Alina!
– I don’t care!
– OK.

carry on down The Mint;
up through the inn car park;
right down the cobbled street;
past the corner house with the pigeons;
take the passage on the left;
past the lamp-post;
into the court yard.

Some days my girls like to come to my studio, some days they don’t. Depends.

– Alina, would you like to cook the corn here, or would you rather go home?
– I don’t mind, mummy, I can eat it cold.
– Yes, but it’s not cooked: you have to cook it first.
– Aw… (disappointment strength 8/10). Can I do painting while it’s being cooked then?
– You may.
– I want to do Art.

print_drypoint_artwork1

“Artwork” 1

Sweetcorn’s in the pan.

– Which paint would you like, this (oils) or this (acrylics)?
– I want this one (acrylics).
– There you go.
– Can I have those little rolling things as well?
– Yes, sure. And there is your paper.

She is all settled, painting on the floor;
I am at the table, drawing her.
We are busy doing Art.
Silence.

Short story by Marina Kim "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Artwork” – 3

Sweet aroma slowly fills the room…

– Mummy?
– Hm?
– Is the sweetcorn ready yet?
(glance at the clock)
– No, not yet. Another 10 minutes or so…
– Aw…

5 minutes later:
– Mummy!
– Hm?
– I think the sweetcorn is ready now.
– Uh-ehm…
– Come on, then!
– Okay! – I put the pencil down and get the sweetcorn.

It is hot. I put one cob under the running cold water. Alina comes to the sink to wash her hands.
– Mummy?
– Yes?
– I painted the difference between the Sea and the Soil.
– Oh, cool!

Short story "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Artwork” 2

Hands clean, she is content.
– Can I eat my sweetcorn now?
– Ah-a.
I give her the cooled-down cob, and place the plate with more of them on the arm of the chair. She climbs into the chair. Satisfaction 10/10. Life is good.

Short story "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Sweetcorn”

– Alina, are you going to paint any more?
– Nah-ah.
– In that case, you need to tidy up.
– Arrgghh, Godddd!

Marina Kim

Autumn, 2009

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