Favorite Gift of 1963
On Christmas morning in 1963, I was astonished to wake and find that Santa had delivered the easel, I had so hoped for.
I was giddy to actually own an easel, just like the one in my first grade classroom. It looks like I painted an image of Lincoln that day.
Lots of Lincolns
Actually I'm just guessing that grainy image in the photo is Lincoln, because I found a lot of Lincoln drawings in the artwork my mom saved over the years. I don't actually remember a Lincoln obsession.
I remember putting on my smock and painting lots of ducks. It was my favorite thing to paint and I did it over and over... yellow ducks, wearing rain boots, carrying umbrellas and walking through puddles. But none of those drippy paintings were saved.
I meant to celebrate "Being 6" on Lincoln's birthday, by painting a picture of him. But the day came and went.
So, today on this spring day, I dragged the easel out of the garage and brought out 3 tiny bottles of tempera paint. The air felt nice and I felt a little like Van Gogh...
... until I slapped the wet brush onto the paper. Why did I think painting was so fun? I felt totally out of control with those brushes and slimy paint. How could I have possibly painted a duck in a rain puddle, at age 6?
So I drew a house and a sun and a tree. I guess that's pretty much what most 6 year olds paint. Then I tried to sign my name, using Elizabeth, the name that my first grade teacher insisted I go by. I failed at that, too. When I was 6, I was better at allowing space for all those letters.
I wish I could have conjured up some of that 6-year-old confidence, today.