She did well in elementary school, great marks on all her projects, and I marvelled at the fact that she spent as much time on the COVER PAGES as she did on the actual content. As long as she got good marks, we didn't mind how long she spent on the extra stuff.
In high school. she took art and photography, as "easy" electives to compliment the maths and sciences into which we guided her.
She did well at all of it, all of it, and graduated with honours, and scholarships to two universities.
We thought she'd major in English, one of her best subjects, but she really could have chosen anything.
Her summer job, after Grade 12, was to work with a team to paint a Remembrance Day mural for our city.
"What a neat summer job", I thought. "How great that she gets to have a little fun before settling down to her studies in the fall."
She went to university, and became bored. Did well enough at her courses, but wasn't motivated to try hard. She just wasn't interested.
"Maybe you should take a year off", we said.
So she did.
She got a job as a waitress (It's called a SERVER, Mom!), moved from the suburbs to the big city, and met her sweetheart.
Instead of going back to university she applied to Film school; to the Make-up and Specialt Effects department.
"What?", we said.
"Well, I don't want to be a server all my life", she said.
"What about university?", we said.
"I'm not interested in university", she said, and paid the deposit at the Film school.
"What's she going to do with that?", we thought. "I know we live in Hollywood North, but geez, the movie industry is so unstable, and how's she going to make a living, and when's she going to do something serious, and...and..."
She's an adult now, and fully self-supporting, so we really have no say in the matter, and she continues to make her quarterly deposits at the Film school.
About a month ago, my husband and I went to Mexico for two weeks, partly to celebrate my 50th birthday.
When we returned there was a present waiting for me.
It's a view of my favourite camping lake - with a white sandy bottom that makes the water an amazing Caribbean blue........and she's captured it perfectly. She painted it for me. She painted it.
And suddenly, finally, something in my 50-year-old brain clicked.
I get it now.
She's an artist. An artist.