Hovered over the small white table, Sebastian draws scrupulously as he leans forward on the lime green stool. His focus is sharp and his concentration is heightened.  
He was never “big” into art. At least not any more than your average kid. “Let’s do a chick-chack art project,” he sometimes called out before dinner. Chick-chack is that Hebrew turn of phrase whose gist connotes something quick, off the cuff, nothing too terribly involved. Let’s just eat a falafel chick-chack before the movie.
Drawing, during the chick-chack era, was carefree, natural, unspoiled.
Nowadays it is resolute, determined, and persistent.
The discourse of the קשקוש (kishkush =scribble) has insidiously woven itself into the subject of conversation at home over recent weeks. Yes, he knows that the kishkush appeals to the imagination, that every artistic piece is a worthy creation in its own right, that art cannot be quantified, that tastes differ, and that I like it and Aba likes it and Tata (grandma) likes it. 
But the kids at school don’t like it. For them it’s just a kishkush. Bottom line.
When I came home yesterday to find Sebastian seated at his current workplace, he breathlessly offered me a sneak peak of his oeuvre. I uttered the appropriate oohs and aahs. Moments later, while I was setting the table, he exclaimed brightly “But Ima, this is  be’emet (TRULY) not a kishkush.”

Another little heart-rend was joined to the chain of slits and scratches. 
My heart, a mother’s bursting heart, is swiftly becoming a battleground, blotted with nicks and scars.
Suddenly, I hear Sebastian cry out “Wow, look at this! The red one, it’s a REAL flower! ממש!” Yes! “Like the big kids draw.” Another slump.
But then I stop, look, and smell the flower.