We all knew there was something a little “off” about Hope when, as a child, she was given a box of crayons and didn’t stuff a single one up her nose. Or try to eat one.
She actually drew something.
There are “artistic” people in my family. My mother used to write poetry and some prose.
My grandmother could play the guitar — she actually tried to teach me once and grew so frustrated she decided I would be better off learning how to play a washboard.
I was terrible at that, as well.
“You can’t even tap your foot in rhythm,” she told me once. “Just hold this spoon, act like you’re playing it, and try not to poke yourself in the eye.”
She was trying to form a family band after the success of The Partridge Family.
My brother, Joe, can play any string instrument, except, I guess, a harp. But maybe he could, there just has never been a lot of harps lying around the ole household to pick up and try your hand at.
My brother, John, and I have, perhaps, the greatest love for music. But as bad as I was at the washboard, he would have been worse. And neither one of us can carry a tune if you put it in a bucket.
Ron, the other Leinart brother, can hum. Sorta.
None of us can draw. Some of us can spell. Some of us can write, a little, but people always tell us they’ll wait for the movie, when we ask them to read something we have put on paper. Ron, John, and Joe are all like electronic/mechanic savants — especially John (who often looks at Apple/IBM/NASA schematics and scoffs, “Well, they sure missed the point there”).
I like the word, “monkey.” I’m sure that is a skill somewhere.
I have a niece, Summer, who is as smart as her dad, John. I don’t know if she can sing.
Ron Jr. can find things, like trouble. But he’s funny and caring and a lot more like me than his dad because he, too, likes the word, “monkey.”
Hey nephew, don’t worry, we’ll find our way.
I forgot Kristen in an earlier attempt at this. You know why Kristen? Your kids, that’s why.
You may be the best mother in our clan because when it comes to you, most times we think of Lil Don and Kaelyn. Seriously, don’t lose that. Ever. That may be the most important and unrecognized form of art in the world. Now, if you can teach them to play the washboard ...
Levi and Isaac are like their dad, Joe, they have a musical inclination but are way cooler than ice and only show that off when it matters — in pursuit of meeting members of the opposite sex. I’m sure that one day they will look back at their shenanigans and laugh at their young and foolish behavior. Probably not.
And then there are my two: Drew and Avery, who are just simply perfect.
Avery has an artistic lean to her. She didn’t stick crayons up her nose, but did try to stick them up mine. Drew has an electronic/mechanic side, but he leans toward the aesthetic. And, like me, he loves music. And, like me, has trouble mastering the washboard.
Then Ron and Becky begot Logan who became a man-child and excelled at games and the Lord said, “Logan, forgo your child-games and bashing of thy enemy’s heads on the gridiron and goest though and serve your country.”
So, he is.
Which brings me back to Hope. The latest artistic one in the family. Seems there is an art school in Northern Virginia that is so impressed with Hope’s talents (remember, no crayons up her nose) that they will actually let her attend there and broaden her brush strokes, as it were.
The best part is, she can go to school close to where her brother, Logan, is stationed. Which is awesome because all of us Leinarts love our siblings.
At this point I will tell you that if you have lost track of who belongs to whom, don’t worry. I do that, too.
Hope will do well. I know this because all of us, we Leinart brothers, always want to do our best.
We’re kinda like an “all or nothing” little tribe. Ask anyone who knows us and they’ll tell you we are dogged and stubborn.
The apple does not fall far from the tree, even if it’s drawn, painted, or sketched.
Now we can all say that Hope is really our “hope” for recognition as a family of artists.
So, Karli, what do you have waiting for us?