The Daily Rambling Artist: Turtles and Mischief: A Most Colorful First-Grade Memory

The Daily Rambling Artist: Turtles and Mischief: A Most Colorful First-Grade Memory

It was first grade, and my mom usually picked me up at the front of the school. But on this particular day, she surprised me by coming all the way to my classroom. As I was about to step out the door, Mrs. Moore, my teacher, called out to my mom and said, "I need to talk to you about something." My heart skipped a beat, and I immediately thought I was in trouble, as was not a child that was immune to mischief. 

We walked over together, and my anxiety grew as Mrs. Moore pulled out a drawing of some turtles I had made. Confusion mingled with awe as I gazed lovingly at my creation. I had spent a lot of time on those little guys after checking out a book about turtles from the library, using my prized set of special crayons.

In first grade, I was incredibly proud of my coloring box. It held what seemed like an infinite amount of crayons, but my absolute favorites were the neon ones. Pink, green, and yellow had never looked so exciting—it was like staring at electricity. I still remember the day my parents purchased them; I couldn't stop marveling at how vibrant they were.

Mrs. Moore, holding the drawing, turned to my mom and said, "I will not die without seeing your son's work in a gallery or a museum." Although I didn't fully comprehend the significance of her words at that moment, the reactions of both my mother and Mrs. Moore assured me that it was a good thing. My mom's relief was evident, and I realized she, too, had feared I was in trouble before hearing the teacher's kind words.

Mrs. Moore was always generous with her compliments, and though I didn't fully grasp their impact at the time, they stayed with me as I grew more and more passionate about my art. This moment was one of the most powerful instances of someone encouraging my creativity. It wasn't the only time my artistic endeavors received praise, but Mrs. Moore's words remains a significant totem in my artistic journey.

-Sergio Santos