Like Designer Daddy, Like Son

Every parent cherishes the milestones in their child’s development. First step, first word, first tooth, first poop on the potty. These are all documented and hold a special place in my memory. Yet JJ did something recently that had my heart leaping with pride and joy…

“Untitled” by JJ, May 2013, age 3-1/2

Wow, your kids a regular Rembrandt, you’re probably thinking, sarcastically. Firstly, he’s three and-a-half, so shut it, Smartass McJudgeypants.

I admittedly have not kept much of the “artwork” JJ has produced to this point, as it’s mostly been pages from coloring books he’s Crayola’d and stickered into oblivion. But this drawing came directly from his double-cowlicked head, through his chubby toddler hand, and onto paper. No lines to fill in, no dots to connect — pure, unfiltered, unguided creativity. I was one very proud Designer Daddy.

Secondly, it gave me an acute sense of déjà vu…

“Swimming Hole” by Designer Daddy, Sept 1972, age 3-1/2

This is a drawing I did at roughly the same age. I’m sure lots of kids start out drawing people this way (what they have against arms, I don’t know) — but the similarity struck me, made me giddy in fact. Biological relatives frequently attribute shared talents or passions to genetics. But not being genetically related to my son, these connections hold extra significance for me.

I know he may not grow up to be an artist or designer. (Let’s hope he takes after Papa and becomes an attorney — I’d like a pool and a painting studio in my retirement home.) But that’s one of the most joyous things about getting to witness JJ’s childhood. On any given day he has the potential/determination/energy to be an Olympic athlete, a super-powered crime fighter, or a world-renowned painter.

Regardless of what other skills my son attempts or identities he dons in the course of his life, I’ll always have this drawing to remember our connection, and to put a smile on my gigantic, armless head.

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OPENING SOON: Come back next week for the inaugural Designer Daddy’s Proud Papa Gallery of Greatness*, a special Father’s Day collection featuring the artistic creations from the offspring of over a dozen other doting dads!

Submissions are still being accepted! Send them in, along with your child’s name and age, by Friday, June 7th.

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*Name subject to change



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