My eleven year old son was working on a school project last night in which he was to draw a family totem pole with each family member on the totem pole represented by an animal. My son selected which animal fit each person based on certain traits that each of us have. My son does not do anything halfway. He doesn’t just put anything down on a piece of paper to get an assignment done. Instead, he is a perfectionist and he puts a lot of thought into his schoolwork. This project was no exception. He thought long and hard about the perfect animal for each family member. After drawing the animal, he had to write a paragraph explaining why he selected it. It is fascinating to see how my son views each one of his family members.
I was anxious of course to see which animal he chose for me. He depicted me as a colorful green sea turtle, which, according to his explanation, represents Mother Earth. Wow, that is a pretty big billing for me to live up to. The reasons he chose Mother Earth to represent me were because I love to camp and experience the beauty of nature, and I grow my own vegetables. Also, I don’t like to kill animals and I recycle everything that I can. I read this and I got one of those slight smiles on my face, the type of smile that made me feel warm inside, as if I had a secret that no one else knew. He depicted me perfectly. He knows me well.
For himself, he chose a salmon, because they are persistent and never give up, swimming upstream and downstream, flapping those little fins with all of their might. Yes, this absolutely describes my amazing and very insightful son.
By Peggy McNeal