Tag Archives: hearts



The first time I signed up
to do a craft
with my daughter’s preschool class

I signed up
because no one else had.
It was Halloween.

We twisted four black pipe cleaners around
a Tootsie Pop and made eight-legged spiders,
put googly eyes on the pops so the spiders could see.

We made paper plate webs for the spiders
weaving grey yarn through holes
the custodian punched through the plates
with a screwdriver
because the paper was much too thick
for the hole punch
and my wrist was hurting
from trying
But that’s okay.
We had to give the spiders a home, didn’t we?

The kids’ teacher and I helped a lot,
glueing, twisting pipe cleaners,
finding lost googly eyes,
encouraging them to keep trying
when the web looked like
a crazy jumble
I didn’t realize how much help
they’d need.
The second time I signed up
to do a craft
with my daughter’s preschool class

I signed up
because no one else had.
It was Christmas.

We made ornaments with popsicle sticks
I had painted into the wee hours of the morning:
green for Christmas trees,
brown for Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.
I hot glued eleven sets of
green triangles and brown triangles,
and then I glued ribbons on the tops of them
for how else would they hang from a tree?

Googly eyes and a red pompom nose for the reindeer,
beads and tiny jingle bells
and glittering plastic jewels
for the Christmas tree,
and a star and a brown paper trunk
lots of glue.
Again, the kids needed help.
Yes, four year olds need lots of help.
The third time I signed up
to do a craft
with my daughter’s preschool class,

I signed up
because no one else had.
It’s for tomorrow,
for Valentine’s Day.

We’ll make owls
using paper plates
and pink and red construction paper hearts.
More googly eyes.
Felt feet, felt beak.
“Hoo loves you?”

I’m excited to go in,
because I know all of their names.
I know the names of my daughter’s
nine classmates,
and I’ve seen how they work,
how much help they need,
and I’m looking forward to it.

This morning,
I said to my husband
Just sign me up
for all of the other crafts
for the rest of the year.

He said
Don’t you want to give
someone else a chance?

The sign up sheet
has been up since September,
right outside the classroom door,
too bad for them.

Sorry other parents,
I’m signed up for the rest of the year now.
You had your chance.

More Pink Kitty

More Pink Kitty

My daughter wasn’t in the napping mood today.  She wanted to dance around and play dress up and sing and do all the things four year olds do. Ah well, might as well enjoy it, I thought to myself, she won’t be young forever.

I had had so much fun last night collaborating with the girl, playing around with a coloring app for kids, so I decided to relaunch the app; I asked her if she wanted to color with me again, and she enthusiastically agreed.

What strikes me as we go about coloring these pictures together is how different her ideas are from mine.  I end up with my set way of seeing the world–the grass needs to be green, the sky blue, and a cat should be brown, white, black, grey, or orange…My daughter sees the world with fresh eyes and has strong opinions about the color everything should be.

No, the kitty is PINK!” she announced.

“Okay,” I said, and I colored the cat’s face, hands, and feet pink.

No,” she said, “The dress too!”  It was a polka dotted dress, so I colored the background pink and was going to leave the dots white.

“NO, no no!” she persisted, “The polka dots too!”  And there went my ideas of interesting color contrast and careful distribution of color to achieve balance in the over all look.  The cat had to be all pink.

I ended up really loving the drawing.   Her ideas continually freshen the art experience for me by getting me out of my ingrained perceptions and showing me a new way of seeing.  I play outside of my strict rules for conduct, I get to be free for a moment.  It reminds me of how when I sit down to meditate I need to quiet the mental chatter enough to allow for something different–a clearer, more quiet mental space, so that I can have this experience of myself outside of all of the habitual thoughts.

If I do this coloring with my daughter with enough frequency, letting go of my mental constructs and embracing the moment with an open heart, I might just attain enlightenment.

So here it is, in all of its glory, yet another pink kitty. (Dig the balloon that had to be brown.)  May all beings–especially those who long to create–experience freedom and lightness.  Everyone needs a little pink kitty in their lives.

My daughter insisted that the cat had to be all pink.

My daughter insisted that the cat had to be all pink.