Go ahead, be Whimsical. Or however else you want to be…



One of the kids with whom I work was having a difficult time drawing. Every minute or so he would threaten to rip up the art he was working on.

“It isn’t right. I can’t get it right.”

I looked at his drawing. It was colourful, beautiful. There was a tree with finely textured bark and playful tangled branches. Beside the tree and nearly as tall were vines in motion, as if blowing in the breeze, and with lovely curls of audacious flowers in several shades of bright colours. There were even tiny winding words of spring greeting, floating in the sky.

I smiled to see it. It made me happy.

He scowled.

“I’m gonna rip this up,” he said.

“I like it very much,” I said. “It is so lively. It’s beautiful! What is it you don’t like about it?”

“It doesn’t look real,” he said.

True. It didn’t.

“You’re right,” I said. “It doesn’t look exactly as we see things out the window, although the tree does look remarkably like that one right there…” He smiled. He had been looking out the window. “This drawing is imaginative,” I continued. “… beautifully imaginative. You imagined, and you drew. There are all sorts of art. What we have here is Whimsical.”

“Whimsical?” He hadn’t heard the word. We don’t much use it. Whimsical.

“Yes. This artwork is whimsical. It means playful and imaginative and cheery. Makes you smile to see it.”

He did his best to suppress a wide grin and held the drawing in his hands as if seeing a thing of beauty for the very first time.

“Whim…sical.” He paused. “Whimsical?”

I wrote out the word for him on a piece of scrap paper. “There’s an ‘h’ in it,” I said.

He went back to his art.

When he brought it to me, I saw that he had added more whimsical flowers with delightful curling leaves in multiple shades of blue, turquoise, and grass-green. He had  written in one corner: “My Whimsical Art” and also, in tiny swirls of words in the sky, “Whimsical” and “whimsical”– several times.

He asked if we could hang it up, and we did, and others admired it so that he felt even more splendid.

It got me thinking about how easy it is to discourage ourselves, to not complete things or try things because they seem–to us–not good enough, or not right. It’s easier sometimes to crumple up the paper in our dissatisfaction.

I think we should not be afraid to think some whimsical thoughts and to do some whimsical things. At least, I have been smiling at the potential of whimsical, and the potential in all of us, myself included.

Have a wonderful weekend,

~ Lily


17 Comments on “Go ahead, be Whimsical. Or however else you want to be…”

  1. That was nice, you have a good weekend too 🙂

  2. irfriske says:

    Such a perfect read to add to the trail of my instinctive morning. That felt so very alive, cleansing and real… I love your connectiveness! “.”

  3. I imagine that child will carry you with throughout his life whenever he is challenge with being “perfect”…how imaginative you are to have given him the opportunity to feel special, instead of limited or wrong…”Whimsical”. Thank you for this. Thank you for being you. Blessings, Erin

  4. ~Drew says:

    What a beautiful story!

  5. robincoyle says:

    I use the word whimsical quite a bit. Did you happen to check out my recent post with the photos of Whimsical Chairs for Writers?

    • lily2u1 says:

      I thought I hadn’t heard the word in quite a while, and certainly had not used it in recent memory. I’m glad that you have kept it in circulation, Robin! I shall check out your chairs, especially since they are whimsical.
      By the way, this comment was retrieved from Spam; I apologize that it was not posted automatically and as usual. Every so often perfectly fine comments get lost in that file so I check it periodically. Must be a slight glitch, somewhere.
      I hope all is well with you, Robin. ~ Lily

  6. David says:

    How wonderful…I literally feel lifted up:)

  7. Sloan says:

    Great Post! We all need to be reminded of these simple truths sometimes. You have inspired me to break out all of those acrylic paints I bought but have barely used because I did not feel like my paintings were “good enough.” Thank you for reminding me that perfection is over-rated!

  8. free penny press says:

    Whimsy is good..Thank you Dr Seuss:-)

    have a wonderful weekend Lily!!

  9. janinevasta says:

    Reading this just now Lily made me think twice about ripping up my work too. I just need to look at it differently. Maybe just take a day away from it entirely. Get some new perspective, just as you taught your young charge to do. What a lucky boy he is!

  10. terry1954 says:

    i am so glad you took the time to let him look at his art in a different way. if you would have let him dispose of his work, he would have given up, and maybe a famous artist would not be discovered

  11. jazfagan says:

    Lily, whimsical is very cool and very fun….Loved this….Peace Jaz

  12. How precious to see beyond what others might call a “perfect picture” and bless the soul of the artist with inspirational words. Whimsical should be in every Mother’s vocabulary and thank you for blessing me today with your story.

  13. Oh Lily…Keep saying all the right words…the kids need it like they need air to breathe…it is essential.

    Be encouraged!

  14. Kadeen says:

    Made me feel like drawing again 😀 Your gift words is so refreshing. Makes me feel all light and airy 😀

  15. sherrysf says:

    My daughter is 10 and would love this story. It also was the nudge I needed to post something I have been hesitating to. Thank you xoxo

    • lily says:

      Aw, thanks Sherry. I am glad to be of any little help. Feel free to read to your daughter. I so miss reading to my children. They grow up tooo fast!
      Wishing you happiness,
      ~ Lily

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