a colorful commendation


Dear Blythe and Olive:

As your crayons, markers, and paints, we wanted to commend you for the passionate and endless ways you have used us. Most art supplies are created, packaged, and fated to be sent to homes for ordinary purposes such as coloring books and construction paper. The majority of paints have an even darker fate: a home where the mother puts them away in a cupboard out of the children’s reach. Can you imagine? But not you. When your mother tucked us away, you faithfully retrieved us, spreading paint all over the blank canvas of your body, carefully reaching between your toes, and even the bottoms of your feet (to make sure we painted the floor when you walked). Genius! You, Blythe and Olive, knew the world needs color, and your mother must have recognized this too. Why else would someone paint their house in shades of white and light neutrals or have entirely white bedding, except to create a place for us, the tools of your artist expression, to shine? Even when she and your dad insist they intended the blank spaces of wall and cloth for their own beauty and design, you know better. Yep. You joyfully persevere in full force, swirling with varied intensity all over those forsaken places. And when they repaint the walls or use those horrid Magic Erasers, it increases your resolve to start again or try a new space, such as the windows, your clothing and toys, and of course, our personal favorite, the interior of your mom’s car. We, your loyal art supplies, want to reassure you: we value this, even when your parents do not.  And of course, we will highly recommend you to our relatives, the permanent and even more versatile art supplies, who can thrive well beyond the Magic Eraser.

With deep gratitude,

your washable art supplies

p.s. Forgive us; we should have included your mother’s make-up in this letter as well. In lieu of our oversight, we’ll include a lipstick-used-as-paint picture. I don’t think they’ll mind.

p.s.s. Blythe, we’re sorry. Your parents had “discovered and dealt with” all of your projects before we could document them. We’ll try to arrive more quickly to scene next time.



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  2. Hee hee. The washable art supplies stretch all of us, expanding us, even as our roles with them change. I laughed reading this. And, just tonight I discovered where Zoe, felt impassioned again for what may be her current, most exhilarating media “colored wax on sheetrock.” More Magic Erasers…

  3. It makes me really happy that you are blogging again. And posts like this make me glad my daughter just painted all over the garage floor this morning, not inside the house or on her person, though the garage floor was a bit much for 8 a.m. today.

    1. Ha! Thanks, Rachel. And the truth is, kids painting any part of our house voluntarily usually is “a bit much.” As always, such kind words. Might I suggest keeping some Magic Erasers handy?

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