A Like-Minded Girl

I don’t often write about the hilarity and hijinks surrounding my family life, but the other day Sarah (now 5 years old for those who are counting) prompted me to share a little gem.

One morning last week the little one and I were up early sifting through the L.A Times, as is our habit, and we came upon a single-panel cartoon that showed a dog holding up a handwritten sign, upon which was scrawled the words “I Love You,” for his owner to read.

Sarah thought this was hilarious and ran off to her art table in the den to, presumably, make one of her own, and I returned to my paper. Eventually Lizzy got up and joined me, and soon after Sarah bounced back in and presented her mother with her brand new creation:

Pretty cute, huh? I particularly like the way she used a rainbow of colors to convey her feelings toward her mother. I mean, the damn thing’s pretty vibrant, if you ask me. It’s simply bursting with joy and light. In fact, upon viewing the work one gets a sense of Mother and Daughter frolicking in the dewy grass on a crisp and sunny Spring morning, running giggling and barefoot through endless seas of green, tumbling down hills and, ultimately, lying breathless on their backs while pointing out animal shapes in the white, puffy clouds overhead.

We awwwed accordingly, and Lizzy thanked her profusely before suggesting, ever so tactfully, that perhaps Sarah could make something just as nice for her Daddy?

Well, I demurred a bit, not wanting to put the kid on the spot, but her eyes lit up and she skipped off back to the den. Though I betrayed nothing, my mind wandered in anticipation of what she would create – would she use a specific set of colors to illustrate her affection toward me? Would she add a rudimentary sketch of the two of us at the playground?  Would the pièce de résistance be the addition of an assortment of stickers or – dare I dream – even glitter?

Moments later she returned and handed me the fruits of her effort:


Somehow this one lacks a little of the, you know, pizzazz of the other. I’d go so far as to say that where the former conjured up picturesque memories of childlike whimsy and Mother-Daughter affection, the latter seemed to bring to mind a life of ennui and malaise. Not the kind of thing, I scarcely need add, one would expect from someone who had been the recipient of countless surprise Reckless Rainbow Frozen Pop Ups.

But you know, it was still a nice gift. Let’s just say that what it lacked in color, mirthfulness and jocundity it more than made up for in chiaroscuro.

The girl may be an artist yet!