I’ve decided that we have daughters to boost our self esteem, at least while they’re young. Or better put, daughters are designed to boost our self esteem in their early years so they have a bigger target to hit when they’re teenagers.

The examples I can give of Kella are numerous, but I just want to focus on one today. My drawing abilities.

No one would confuse the chicken scratch that I put on paper as anything but a ghastly parody of art, though I’m afraid calling it a parody gives it too much credit. A ghastly parody of art is one of those straight to video specials created solely to fill up the empty spaces in the Redbox and try to trick you into thinking you’re getting The Avengers instead of The Ad-ventures (a movie mashup of Iron Man working with Don Draper. . .which I would totally watch). What I make is more akin to having a cell phone fall into a pile of poo after butt hitting the record button.

It’s never been good, even during my forced creative period of elementary school. I remember in fifth grade being pulled out of class a couple times throughout the year to attend the “GATE” sessions, which they made out to be some great program for gifted and talented students. Instead, it ended up being some crappy art class, and all my work would have better fit in the remedial section.

Back to my daughter. Kella loves drawing. Here’s a sample of her work, which she drew on my phone and figured out how to text to Amy, along with signing and putting her age in the signature line:

Kella Paintings

Does Banksy need to watch his back? Not any time soon, at least not from my daughter. But considering she’s four, and especially compared to my son’s, uh. . .whatever you want to call it when someone scrawls so hard that either the crayon breaks or the paper does, her work is a masterpiece.

On Sunday’s during church, it’s not uncommon for Kella to pressure me into drawing pictures of the family during the talks. Here’s an example of what I can spit out:


If Kella had drawn it, it’d be pretty good. Coming from a man in his early thirties, I wouldn’t even qualify for a Participation Trophy in an art contest.

Yet every time I draw something, Kella looks down at it contemplatively before commending me for my impressive creation. “That’s a great picture of you and me at the park,” she’d respond to the example up above. Even though I know that either (a) she has no idea what she’s talking about or (b) she’s lying, it’s nice to hear.

I can’t wait until she looks back on my drawings in ten years. I expect she’ll say something along the lines of “wow, Dad, did the monkeys cry when you stole their drawing?”

Or, in other words, a slightly wittier version of why Finley tells me now.

I’m steeling myself up now. Sticking those complements in reserve, those comments of “you’re my best friend, Daddy.” Hopefully I’ll have a good well to draw on when I’m told how much she hates me and that I’m ruining her life for not letting her Snapchat with her friends.