the day i couldn't draw a tree

i was 5.
year 1, actually i think it was called prep.

we had been given this activity sheet by the teacher with instructions to draw 1 of something, then two of something, then three etc etc.

i was up to three or four i think. i was trying to draw some trees. i drew my first tree. it was beautiful. it had a trunk with the concave lines and the cloud like shape for the leaves. i was proud of this tree. i excitedly went to draw my second tree.

it wouldn't work though. try as i might, i couldn't recreate the brilliance of the trunk i had stumbled upon in my first tree attempt. i was devastated. i started crying. i think i even left the class.

the teacher eventually calmed me down and asked me what the problem was. she gently (although somewhat condescendingly) showed me how to repeat my mastery and i was content.

i look back now and cannot fathom being so upset over something so seemingly trivial. but to my 5 year old self it wasn't trivial at all. it was the only thing that mattered at that moment. it was my world. it was all my goals and determination. it was the ultimate in possible frustrations.

remembering the story makes me think of two facts...

Fact 1
what i am worried about today will probably seem silly in years to come and i will wonder why i bothered to stress so much.

Fact 2
the things that concern my children are very real to them, even though they seem insignificant to me right now.