White Picket Fences

The other day I wrote about my teenage son whistling while he was getting ready for the day. Since then I had another experience with one of my sons. Our second son is an artist living in NYC and he currently has a show at a gallery in Brooklyn. The show is going very well – he’s already sold several paintings and received favorable reviews from critics.

One of the reviews featured an in-depth interview which was quite revealing. Like a lot of other parents I know, I feel like I’m just getting to know our son as he turns 26 in a few weeks. He has always been the type that flies under the radar – never gets into trouble but you also are never sure where he is or what he’s doing. With him living in NYC for the past four years, I’ve gotten used to this feeling of detachment.

Over the past few months, he’s struggled with some serious challenges but he’s also been more open to me and let me into his hipster world now and then. The interviewer asked him a lot of questions about his art and one of them was about the first thing he remembers building. To my surprise, he talked about building a white picket fence with his Dad when he was 12.

His response warmed my heart more than I ever imagined possible, You see, I’ve always tried to work on projects with my kids the way that my Dad worked with me. Come to think of it, my Dad would assign me projects and then inspect them at regular intervals to be sure I was making good progress and doing everything just right. My story, however, is that we did it together, and I’m sticking to it.

Years from now my son may remember that I assigned him projects as well, but for now he told the world that we did it together and that makes me the proudest father on earth.

Here’s Bennet (on the right) with his older brother Adam.



5 thoughts on “White Picket Fences

  1. The global art world is a whole different world, and a fascinating one. I got a taste of it through my nephew, Ben Fenske. Your son may know of him- he’s on the web, anyway. I studied art, but have nothing like remarkable talent-and no amount of wishing and praying is going to change that. So I love being exposed to new artists, and have the utmost respect for them. You must be very proud of your son’s accomplishments!

  2. I have five remarkable children and I’ve only mentioned two of them in my posts so far. Almost all of them are artists like my wife Kathryn.
    I’ll ask my son about your nephew. The art world is pretty tight.

    • Great! Ben may be at the Tuscany house right now, but he keeps a place in NYC too.Id be surprised if they haven’t rubbed shoulders.

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