It was a snowy day in February and so the addition of a facepainter was a real hit! I had some kids who got only one design, and I had others who kept coming back until they were absolutely covered!
At one point a mom came over and asked if she could be painted with an octopus.
“Of course,” I said excited to paint a mama.
Usually when a mom or dad gets painted it helps other shy children to get painted too. This was exactly what this brilliant mom had in mind. She wanted her little 3-year-old son to get painted, but he kept quietly giving her his answer, “No.” He would then continue playing in the toyroom – safely far removed from the colorful facepainter in the living room.
“What color would you like for your octopus,” I asked?
This friendly mama choose a beautiful color of green and I set about the venture. Her son never showed his little face. He was off playing happily in the other room and soon we were done. She loved her design and left to go see if she could convince her little one.
Throughout the rest of the facepainting I didn’t see mama come back with her little boy in tow. “Oh well,” I thought. “Too bad it didn’t work.”
In the midst of painting a design on a little girl I felt a tug on my shirt and heard a little voice, “Why are you painting that?”
I looked down and saw a boy with big round eyes staring up at the flower I was painting. “You mean why I am I painting a flower,” I asked?
“Yes,” he said.
“Well, because that is what she wanted,” I replied kindly.
He continued to watch as I added more colors. “Why are you using that color,” I heard the little voice ask?
“Because this is a color that she likes,” I said and smiled at my little observer.
I finished up the little girl and as soon as she ran off to play my big-eyed little boy very determinedly crawled up on the stool to be painted.
Not expecting this, as he hadn’t exactly been standing in line, I still smiled and asked him, “And what would you like?”
With a stout look of determination on his face he said one word, “BLUE!”
“Blue,” I echoed questioningly?
“Blue,” he said again with just as much emphasis!
‘Uh oh,’ I thought. Visions of the Blue Man Group flooded my head. ‘I don’t think this little boys parents are going to appreciate a little side kick to the Blue Man Group!’
Quickly I tried to guide him a bit, “Would you like a blue puppy dog?” I pointed to a little picture of a boy’s whole face painted as a puppy dog.
The little boy looked and nodded, “Yes! Blue puppy dog!”
I sighed a bit relieved and thought, ‘Usually I do this black and white. Perhaps it would look better in part blue and part white. So I asked my little man, “Would you like a blue and white puppy dog?”
With the polite firmness of a businessman and yet the sing-song tone of a child I heard the following:
So just blue it was, with a lighter and a darker blue and a little red tongue lolling out of his mouth. Very soon I turned a sweet 3 year old boy into a sweet 3 year old blue puppy.
When he was done I said, “You’d better go show your Daddy.”
He replied very matter of factly, “Well my Daddy isn’t here. He’s at work.”
“Oh,” I said, smiling and somehow feeling proud of this boy’s sharp mind and quick wit. He knew what was what and exactly what he wanted.
“Maybe you could go show your mama then?”
“Yes,” he grinned and ran off.
Of course my mama with the green octopus came up to me not too long later and gushed, “Joy! Joy! That was my son that you painted as the puppy! He finally did get one!”
She was all smiles, and I have to say, so was I.
The power of little ones to amaze us is right there for us to receive. It’s just a matter of waiting and asking and being ready to hear their little voices letting us know – this is what I would like, this is who I am:
“Just Blue! Just Blue!”
Thank you for the joy you shared with me my little brilliant “Just Blue” guy!
And blessings on all,