Jonathon's Closet

Friday, September 08, 2006

This Child's Perspective

A few days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks I received a call from Jona’s art teacher asking me to please stop by to discuss his behavior in art class that day. Jona loved art class and the art teacher as well, and never had any kind of behavior problem in art. I was confused.

When I arrived at the school I found myself walking down hallways lined with children’s drawings of 9/11. I met the teacher and she took me to where the pictures made by Jona’s class were displayed.

“You know I think Jonathon is just the best!” she began.

"Uh-huh”, I acknowledged while scanning the drawings of airplanes and fire trucks, towers and flames, and not finding one with Jona’s name on it.

“You won’t find it,” she informed me. “It’s not there. I don’t know what happened! He just refused to do the assignment! He kept saying, ‘Mrs. N, I AM drawing 9/11’ but look! Here is what he did!”

She looked very frazzled as she thrust the picture towards me.

When Jona joined us, he insisted “Mom, I DID draw 9/11” and the art teacher threw her hands in the air.

“Ok", I acknowledged, looking carefully at the rows of people he had drawn and noting that every person in the drawing was crying. “Tell me about it.”

Jona looked up at me stone-faced and quietly said, “Those are all the children whose parents died.”


  • I should know better than to read your blog without tissues handy.

    By Blogger Catherine, at 11:03 AM  

  • Oh wow. What a beautiful and heartfelt picture. I cannot believe that the art teacher did not display his work and show the world what an unique perspective Jona has.

    By Blogger Keri, at 3:05 PM  

  • Good for you Jonathon! I bet you made mom proud of how sympathetic you are. Beautiful picture!

    By Blogger Chaos Mommy, at 10:54 PM  

  • Wow..that was great.

    By Blogger Recovering Wino, at 10:13 AM  

  • What a beautiful picture, and what a wonderful kid you have. I'm so glad he has someone like you to nurture him.

    By Anonymous Becki, at 3:49 PM  

  • That is just beautiful...and so very true, Jona.

    By Blogger kate, at 6:05 AM  

  • What a unique outlook your son has and what a beautiful picure he drew!

    By Blogger G, at 12:39 PM  

  • Wise young man to have put such a truth down in the form of art. 9/11 wasn't about the buildings was it - it *is* all about the people.

    By Blogger Sandy, at 8:22 PM  

  • It's the children who say it best for the see everything the clearest. Always.


    By Blogger Happy Mama to Three, at 10:37 AM  

  • Tell me, please, that the art teacher finally understood and hung his drawing on the wall with the others!

    By Blogger Sparki, at 7:03 AM  

  • THIS brings tears to my eyes! I've been reading tributes for several days now - I plan to go thru the list - my own personal honoring of the 2,996 Victims of that fateful day in September of '01 - but nothing has tugged at me quite like THIS has. Bless you, Jonathon...

    By Blogger Sabra, at 11:01 AM  

  • That was probably the best 9/11 drawing of all, Jonathon.

    By Blogger Roe, at 11:30 AM  

  • Some kids just do what they think the teacher wants them to, some actually put their own heart into their work.

    From his perspective it was the perfect 911 tribute.

    Where do they get these teachers?

    By Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo, at 12:40 PM  

  • I could launch into a rant here about this being precisely the sort of reason why my youngest daughter (the only one still of school age) no longer attends public schools and is instead homeschooled, but I'm too busy trying to find a new box of tissues.

    By Blogger Kate, at 1:48 PM  

  • Oh. :( What a sensitive and sweet child. What a beautiful drawing.

    By Blogger Mel, at 2:32 PM  

  • That is a beautiful picture Jona. You are very talented!

    As a teacher myself, I can't imagine any teacher, particularly an art teacher of elementary kids, wouldn't ask a child to elaborate. The kids that have the ability to think outside the box, or color outside of the lines, are the ones that make my job truly rewarding!

    By Anonymous Laury, at 8:38 PM  

  • Great story. And as others have said the teacher should have never said his picture was not 9/11. Art is all about expressing things in your own personal way!

    Thanks for visiting my 2996 tribute post. I enjoyed yours and my visit to your blog.

    By Blogger PARLANCHEQ, at 7:48 PM  

  • Wow....what an emotional post. Will be reading more of your blog. I am amazed at Jona's spirit.

    By Blogger onangelwings, at 8:09 PM  

  • Oh, wow. Jona's an amazing kid! That one made me cry too...

    By Anonymous christinaliu, at 1:15 PM  

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