At the Playground
I don't remember when I learned how to pump, but I know it was a lot more fun than being pushed. I grabbed a swing yesterday and had a little fun at the park.
I thought about Kindergarten in Grinnell, Iowa while I did a little swinging. I turned 6 in that spring of 1963. I remember the playground swings and how we raced to grab a free one.
I was surprised at how much fun I had on the swing. It felt pretty darn fun using my arms and legs, leaning and pushing through the air. But, there is no way to match the exhilaration I remember of flying through the air, when I was 6. They hang those darn seats on short little chains, now. There's no way to get way up high.
Or did I just grow up?
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.
Calming Nerves with Coloring
I'm sure I had many coloring books, but I only really remember one. I recall my dad watching me color a picture of a grocer, wearing an apron. (odd picture) Dad commented as I scribbled away. "I worked in a grocery store, when I was a boy." For some reason that news intrigued me.
It's chilly and gray, today. It was the perfect cozy day to pull out the coloring book given to me by my childhood friend a year ago. Diane knew it would amuse me, since I was going through chemo.
She and I both had memories of Highlights Magazines. Each addition had an illustrated page where we hunted for hidden images. As I colored the hummingbird picture, I was enjoying two things that I loved when I was 6... Highlights and coloring!
I was sort of distracted though and my coloring was a little careless. I didn't finish because I got drawn away to do something else. Was that the adult in me, or the 6-year-old?