Trophy Wife

Sawyer Poses in Daddy’s Lap. The Sculptor Sculpts. Las Vegas, July, 2011.

On Display

Vacationing with my daughter and her family before they relocate across an ocean next month, we separate for a few hours. Rejoining them in an amusement park, we find Cadence bouncing in the bungee basejump pit. Across the way, baby brother Sawyer sits in his daddy’s lap as an artist creates a sculpture portrait of him.
I eye the displayed sculptures and think of Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” imagining the portraits lining a mad millionaire’s study. 
Cadence scrambles out of the bungee ride and we ask him if he’d like to sit for a portrait. “You would have to sit still for twenty minutes,” his mother reminds him. He whispers something to the second sculptor, who sits waiting for his next client. The man looks up at me, puzzled. 
I crouch beside my grandson. “What did you say, Honey?”

“I want one of you, Lala,” the boy replies.

In an instant I see him boarding an airplane and I cannot refuse his request. So I sit and pose. I’m facing the sidewalk that circles the amusement park, facing the throngs of passing guests. The sculptor begins his work. 
The Sculptor Creating my Portrait. Baldness does not Become Me. 
Families pass by. Young couples stroll. People stop, peer over the artist’s shoulder at the work in his hands, then look at my face. I watch their eyes dart back and forth, appraising his work. Or maybe appraising the subject?

It’s unsettling. 

Cadence and Passersby Supervise (Scrutinize?) a Sculptor.

I do this so a four-year-old can have a bust of his Lala to take with him to Hawaii. But I don’t like it.

I sit still for twenty minutes, squirming inside as a passing parade examines me. I wonder, idly, what they’re thinking. Maybe portraits are better made of the young and beautiful, not the gray and wrinkly, like me.

A man looks at the clay, looks at me, raises one eyebrow, and moves on.
I flood with gratitude for the God who made me, Who sees my every move, hears every whisper of my heart, and loves me all the same.
And I overflow with thanks for the sacrifice made for me. When God looks upon me, He overlooks the gray of my transgressions and the wrinkles of my past, seeing only the beautiful subject He created me to be.

17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
1 John 3:17-22 (NASB)


  1. I'm so glad you did this for your grandson!

  2. Your grandson is a genius – that is a great idea. At least the across the ocean ends in Hawaii and not somewhere even further away. It's a GREAT place to visit! Loved how you told this story and I'll bet it turned out really well, too.

  3. A Joyful Noise

    I must smile as I sit with you in the discomfort of being scrutinized by the public as you are artistically transformed into a keepsake for your Grandson. I enjoyed your comparison of how God loves us no matter how young or old we are.

  4. Thanks, Ladies! Diane, my prayer is that everyone's grandson(or granddaughter) is a genius…or at least apprised as such.