Happiness One Ohh One: Picasso

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Study for Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'Avignon
One of Picasso's 1000 studies for Les Demoiselles D'Avignon

Colonel Mom here.  It is the Battle of the Homework and I am reporting from the trenches where the air is thick with encouragement (me) and despair (my son).  There are 50 math problems in front of us, people, and the answer boxes contain right, wrong, and indifferent responses.  Frustration is way past a-brewin' and the clock is a-tickin'.  Time to bring in reinforcements.

"There are Legos waiting to be played with," I announce. "And maybe an experiment, after you've finished."  A pause in the action and then, big sighs. Watery eyes seem imminent.  Today's exit strategy has failed.

Unfortunately, the back-up plan is ill-advised as well, for it is only 1500 hours and the wrong time of day to have a glass of wine. Not that yours truly would drink while on duty. But in a military installation, this leader knows that she must entertain the best options for ease of advancement.

"We need more artillery!" I shout. "To the office!"

We evacuate the kitchen table. My son chases me down the hall and comes to a dead stop in front of the bookshelf from which I pull a book about Picasso.

We page past several paintings I'm fond of, so as to avoid discussions about a rampant lack of clothing. We talk about Cubism and the pictures are deemed "funny."  More flipping, until we arrive at a series of sketches.

"Attention all personnel! It is in this Colonel's opinion that Picasso is good to have on your side, whether your 'homework' is school-work or work-work or the pursuit to be better than what you are today, because he has mastered the art of patience and trying hard!" She draws a short breath, for effect.

"To prepare for one of his greatest works, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, Picasso conducted 1000 'studies':

  • 1000 tries at getting it right
  • 1000 instances of respect for his vision
  • 1000 attempts that likely introduced paralyzing moments of frustration

1000 occasions of working to be his best, when he arguably didn't need the practice.  Over and out!"

It's time to go back to the front line, but now, I know just what to do.  We will have a little Picasso join our rank.


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