We were waiting at a local barber shop as my son was getting a close-cropped cut, when my daughter tugged at my sleeve and pointed towards the door. A man was sitting near the front, by the door, and he had a drawing pad out. “He’s drawing a cowboy!” she whispered. She stared and stared as the drawing took shape. Finally, I suggested she go over and let him know she liked his drawing. She agreed, but I had to come too.
Her bravery dissipated as soon as the gentleman’s attention went from his creation to her presence, and I was left to explain that my six-year old had been admiring his cowboy picture. “She’s an artist too,” I explained. Oh! Wonderful! And a fresh sheet of paper came out.
Soon the man was sketching my little girl’s giraffe hat with a thick, black marker. And as it took shape, he told jokes and stories that felt like familiar friends. “Children are so great with art, so open,” he began. And then he regaled us with micro stories about a child drawing God, despite being told it was impossible, and why he always brings a sketch pad to pass the time, and that he was glad my daughter had asked about the artwork.
In the end, we had a great conversation and got to take home a sketch of my daughter with her giraffe hat. At the top he wrote “A Happy Girl” then hesitated for a second and continued “is a Happy Person.”