Tasmina is a curious little girl! She can draw just about anything and with a keen eye for detail, it is clear Tasmina is gifted. Will her family understand her gift and encourage her or will they deter her?
10 years ago, Tasmina's family came to New York from Bangladesh. It wasn't easy for her maa and baba to move so far away from all of their friends and family. Tasmina dad, Amir and her mom, Sahla, wanted a better life for their new family.
Moving to New York City was a big adjustment. Tasmina heard many new languages on the streets. She heard the sounds of the subway and smelled the aromas of new foods. She also couldn't help and notice all of the new patterns, shapes, and interesting lines of world around her.
Tasmina loves school and her maa and baba are very serious about her studies. They hope she will become a doctor or an engineer. As a fifth grader, Tasmina's favorite subject is art. Tasmina notices color, shape, and texture in everything she sees. In school, her Art teacher notices that Tasmina has a special talent in art and suggests that she take part in a special program over the summer.
Tasmina wanted to paint and draw over the summer but she knew had to go to Bangladesh to see her family.
Spending the summer in Bangladesh was always fun. Tasmina spent time with all of her cousins flying kites and playing outside.
Tasmina would draw in her sketch book privately. She was ashamed of letting her friends and family know how much she loved art. She was afraid they would think she was wasting her time. Tasmina wanted her family to be proud of her. Would they be upset if they knew she wanted to be an artist?
Tasmina would always be very nervous and scared just thinking about asking her parents to buy her art materials. She knew how much maa and baba wanted her to focus on her other subjects like Math and Science. One day, her friend Afsana noticed Tasmina's sketches.
Afsana was impressed. The color, shapes, and strokes of Tasmina's pencil were unique and special. Tasmina would make a great artist. Afsana understood her friend. She knew that Tasmina's gift might be taken for a simple hobby.
Afsana suggested that Tasmina show her sketch book to her family. This made Tasmina nervous. The very idea of upsetting her maa and baba brought Tasmina to tears. Maa and baba work so hard and want Tasmina to get a good job in America - isn't that why they left Bangladesh 10 years ago?
Tasmina's nani saw her crying and began to wipe away her tears.
"Your maa and babu left everything they know here in Bangladesh for you. They know that in America you will have a better chance to get a good education. They work hard so you can be happy"
Nani looked at Tasmina's sketch book and saw the great talent in her grandaughter. "Tasmina, you cannot hide this from your parents. Can you find the courage to tell them how much you love art?"
Tasmina thought long and hard about talking to her maa and baba. She wanted to please her parents but she also had a passion for art that she could never let go. This was a very scary idea. Will they be disappointed? Will they be angry? By the end of the summer, Tasmina decided it was time talk to her parents.
At first, maa and babu did not understand. Wasn't art simply a hobby? How could their Tasmina grow up and take care of herself if she was doodling all day?
Tasmina explained to them how being a good artist would not change the way she performed in any of her other subjects. She would try her best in everything but in her heart, she was an artist.
Tasmina's nani explained to maa and baba that little Tasmina had a special talent in art that extended well beyond doodling. What Tasmina could do was special and different from other children her age.
Nani was clear to explain that this gift in art was not like the other gifts maa and baba heard about but it was still a gift. Nani explained that Tasmina needed the encouragement and blessing of her parents to feel safe persuing art.
Nani explained to maa and baba that Tasmina was nervous and anxious to speak up about her talents because she was afraid of being a disappointment. Maa and baba looked at each other. They did not move half way across the world so their daughter would feel like a disappointment. They moved to New York to bring opportunities and happiness to their Tasmina.
Nani was right as usual. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes and wasn't it special that their little Tasmina had such a gift!