Friday, March 13, 2015

A delightful afternoon

 “When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, ‘You mean they forget?’ ”


Today I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting my cousin-in-law Julie for the first time face-to-face, after only getting to see her on Facebook for the six years since she and my cousin were married in her native Philippines. They have two beautiful daughters, my second cousins Sydney (three-and-a-half) and Alexandria (Allie - just turned one), whom I also met in person for the first time today. We spend a delightful afternoon visiting when they stopped at my parents’ for an overnight stay on their way from visiting family in South Carolina, back to San Antonio, where they are living near my aunt and uncle while they are here in the US for a while. This is Julie, Sydney and Allie’s first visit to the US, and there have been many memorable “firsts” since they arrived last November: first time scraping frost off the van, first time seeing snow in person and catching snowflakes on their tongues. And the girls’ first snow angels (in Granby, Colorado, where they participated in a family retreat at Snow Mountain Ranch, courtesy of Project Sanctuary). First time feeding birds on the beach in Mississippi, first time having eggnog at Christmas time. Julie’s first Green Card, which enabled her to get her first library card. So fun watching them experiencing all this through pics on Facebook.

After lunch today Sydney and I spent some time painting together at the kitchen table. Here she is with her finished painting, so intent on posing for my picture that she didn’t realize she had dropped her paint brush and it was no longer in her tightly gripped hand.

We painted garden pictures in celebration of the fast approaching end of winter. Sydney wanted us both to paint the same thing, so while we were setting up we talked about what we were going to include in our pictures, and here’s what we agree on beforehand: 

1. The sun. First and foremost.
2. Grass and flowers. Purple and red and blue ones.
3. A tree.
4. A rainbow. Of course.

Sydney has just moved out of the phase where she wants to just mix all the colors together to see what they will do. At 3½ she now has enough painting experience to know that mixing ALL the colors together will ALWAYS make the same muddy brownish gray. The first 400 times she did this I’m sure it was very exciting watching the colors change. Not so much any more. 

Now it’s more exciting to use Every Single Color In The Tray, swishing her brush in her glass of water in between each one so the colors stay nice bright. Today Cousin Karen showed her how to dab her brush on a paper towel after each water swish, so the poster paint stays nice and thick on her brush. I only had to show her once, then it became part of  her routine. Dip, paint, swish, dab. Repeat.

Here’s Sydney’s finished painting, a gift for her Daddy, she said.

Along the way, in addition to the things we had said we were going to put in our pictures, she added footprints. And rain. I love this.

I added a butterfly and a bluebird.

Thank you, Sydney! I had fun painting with you!

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