The Long Hard Road
What's the best place for someone who can't stand social boundaries? That's easy. The world of art.
The difference between a grandmother and everyone else is that a grandmother loves you more. And that's why Sharon told Teresa she was going to watch Dakody until September. Of course Todd didn't mind, he always had some reason to be somewhere else. But he loved his son, and he knew his mother did a pretty good job... on all the kids but him, at least.
Teresa dropped off Dakody very early in the morning, on her way to her waitressing job at the greasy spoon. Dakody fell on the couch and pulled the blanket over himself. Sharon went to the kitchen and made herself breakfast. She had a book. For the next two hours, the house was quiet.
When Sharon heard the sound of the TV remote banging on the coffee table, she put her book down, and went into the living room. Dakody was in his underwear fighting some sort of war between his left shoe and his right shoe. Sharon sat at the table and took out the Art 101 142 Piece Artist Kit.
"Dakody," she said calmly. "Come over here and sit with me."
It wasn't hard for Sharon to convince her grandson to dump everything out on the table. The markers, the colored pencils, the crayons, the pastels. Even the watercolor cakes, paper clips, glue tubes and scissors were in the pile. Dakody was happy to make a mess on command, it was his specialty. But after that, he wasn't sure what to do. Sharon intended to change that.
"Dakody, tell me what you were doing when I walked in the room."
"I was-" Dakody began, but Sharon cut him off.
"No, not like that." Sharon used the pencil sharpener and handed Dakody a fresh, sharp pencil. If Jake had seen it happen, he would have called his Granny insane. If Michelle had been there, she might have had her mother committed. But Sharon had raised two boys and she knew one thing for sure: trust always paid off. Eventually.
Dakody took the pencil with care. Sharon slid him a piece of paper.
"Draw it, Dakody. Draw it out for me, and explain it as you draw. I want to see what you see."
Dakody was very still and quiet, for perhaps the first time in his life. Then he made a cautious oval.
"That's the General."
Sharon nodded. Dakody drew a second oval.
"That's the King."
Sharon nodded again. Dakody picked up a magic marker and drew a red line down the center.
"And that's the blood on the field of battle."
Dakody looked at Sharon, challenging her. Sharon didn't look away, except to pick up the paint brush and a red watercolor cake. With fast, violent motions, she painted over his lines.
"Needed more blood." she said flatly, challenging him back. Dakody grinned and nodded.
By lunchtime, they needed to buy more paper. Thankfully, there was an art supply store right next to the pizza place.