Childhood Week: Day 1 – Toys and Games

The week is basically done but decided to start posting these up anyway! Beatrice Blue started this online event this week called Childhood Week to inspire artists to create art based on prompts related to childhood. It may be late in the game but don't let that stop you either!

For the first day I just decided to capture myself crazily multitasking playing with as many toys as possible because I was too indecisive and too spoiled as a child to pick a single toy! I was really into Nickelodeon so a lot of toys and posters reflected that! And of course I had to through in Beanie Babies, Skip It, Sky Dancers, Gameboy, Ribbon Dancer, American Girl Dolls, the board games Mouse Trap and Operation, and of course my hula hoop, wagon and yo-yo for good measure! I really like toting my tape player, toys and friends in my wagon around the neighborhood! I think some Nickelodeon shows or movies like Dennis the Menace or the Pagemaster even really emphasized the importance of a wagon in one's childhood so I took to heart that subliminal advice. I hope to casually and maybe not so casually draw and share more of these childhood inspirations for the next couple of days this week so sit tight!


Forever Grew


A new day, green and bright
Fresh with the greeting
Of crisp daylight
Mind relaxed, soft and open
Feeling the joy
Of your own emotion
Going outside, excited by life
Letting your kite touch the sky
Feeling amazed between blades of grass
A little world hidden by all who pass
Little do they know what stories unfold
Even when invisible or untold
Welcoming the glow of a dinosaur’s magic
Percolating through its nostalgic plastic
Coming home to a world you knew
A place where happiness forever grew

It Can Last

Fluttering inside the walls
Imagination flowing like waterfalls
Heart light
Glowing bright with childhood flight
Wings expanding
Rib cage inflating
With sunshine
Crisp and twinkling
In your squinting eyes
Rosy cheeks raised up to the sky
Soft feathers of happiness
Quivering with each breath
A new born into warm life
Gentle and free
Fresh water, fresh breeze
The ocean, flowers and trees
Weightless feet in the sand
The world caressing you
With its soft hand
You feel it slightly
Wistful joy you yearn
To fully grasp
Feeling a thin taste
For as long as it can last

Waking from a Dream

Music credit Epigram by Tycho

Grown-Ups

  
Pretending
Playing house
Thinking, imagining
What will I be
When I grow up
Playing in worlds
In movies and books
Adventures, mysteries
Lives I thought
All grown-ups had

Somehow someone now
With small hands and feet
May be looking at me
Seeing me ride the bus
Going to the office
Having a boss
Shopping and cooking
Getting out my keys
Pretending to be
A grown-up in the city

Mandy Knows

 Mandy knew
And she always did her best.

The best that she could do.

Thoughtful at school
Kind on the playground
Sat in the circle
Sat on the ground.

She sat crossed-legged
Without a sound.

She shared her toys
Respected her teachers
She picked up the trash
Fed the class creatures.

Mandy knew
To let others have a turn
And wait at the fence
To play four-square
Or freeze-dance
Because fairness

Was her biggest
Concern.

And Mandy knew
To make her bed
To pick up her markers
To pet her cat’s head.

To be generous
To listen
To make hearts glisten
To care and share
And always be prepared.

She knew to be dutiful
To patch holes with thread
To make her mama smile
And good words said.

She liked them happy
She wanted them proud
She liked them liking her
And hearing those words
Out loud.

But sometimes
It all went wrong.

She woke up early
But the bus was gone
She washed the dishes
But two hundred have spawned
She made a castle
But only scribbles were drawn.

Her teacher said,
“Mandy, why are you late?
Don’t you know
To come before eight?”

Her mama said,
“Mandy, why aren’t these clean?
Don’t you know
This is a horrible scene?”

Her brother said,
“Mandy, why did you scribble?
Don’t you know
I want a castle, not drivel?”

But little did they know what
Mandy knew.

Quietly she washed
Determinedly she drew
Early she rose
Pushing herself through.

Hours of hard work
Dedication and time
Little did they know
How much she tried.

But Mandy knew
And yet she tried harder.

“This way they’ll see,”
She thought,
“All the hours I spend
To make them happy.”

But Mandy kept getting
Disappointments and sighs
Sometimes they’d even
Roll their eyes.

The more she got done
The more her bus was gone
The more dishes she cleared
The scribblier
Her drawings appeared.

She was folding her laundry
When her mama found a sock
Saying, “What a sad sight
To see it mixed with the darks.”
Fabric turned gray
Because of a simple mistake
White goes with lights
But it slipped away.

“Doesn’t she know?” Mandy cried,
“How much I’ve tried?!”

And with that final word

Mandy stopped.

She stopped folding
She stopped trying.

She stopped caring
She stopped drawing.

She stopped cleaning
She stopped giving.

She stopped
Stopped
STOPPED!

The dishes piled high
Homework covered with red ink
Her room was very messy
Her cat even started to stink!

Her bed left unmade
She ignored every critique
Not scared of a bad grade
She was absent most of the week!

During dinner Mandy stared
She didn’t want to eat
Her brother boasted
How he was focused
And earned himself a treat.

“You shouldn’t earn
When it’s your job to learn
Who cares about treats and those things?
They’re just a carrot on a string,”
Mandy said with a sting.

Her brother yelled
Mandy yelled
Emotions left unstable

Her mama yelled
Mandy yelled
The cat ran under the table

“What is going on around here?!
This is more than I can bear!
The chaos has to stop and cannot stay
Mandy, dear why are you acting this way?”

“Because I do it all for you
But you just don’t see
How much I push to try to be
To be thoughtful, tidy, good and true
A good daughter, a good student
Everything I struggle to pursue
You don’t understand
And you never do
How much I try to do for you!”

Her mama turned away
And lowered herself to a chair
And Mandy could see a tiny tear.

“I’m sorry Mandy.”

Quiet and tense
The pause was immense.

“What you say is right and true
I haven’t been a good mother to you
I try so hard and maybe too much
To be a good mother
To push you to do better and such
But it looks like I’m very much out of touch.”

Mandy stepped closer
And reached for her mother
Her mama meant no harm.

She hugged her warmly
And heard another sorry
It was an end to a wrong.

The next day
After long school hours
And a cloudy rain shower
Mandy came home to unwind
And recharge her power.

She opened the door
Making sure to avoid
Her markers on the floor
And that no toy’s destroyed.

On her desk was something new
Three little notes
One pink, one yellow
One blue.

But one thing was common between them all.
They all said “thank you”
Whether her deed was big or small.

One from her teacher
Full of praise
Telling her how she loves
Her short stories and essays
She said she used one as an example
To show her students another angle.

One from her brother
Saying sorry for being picky
That drawing castles can be quite tricky
And admitting that her colors
Were actually kind of pretty.

And one from her mama
Promising she’ll take notice
When Mandy is doing her best
Because the best is all one can do
And whenever she’s being thoughtful
She deserves a sincere “thank you.”

Because Mandy knew
To be generous
To listen
To make hearts glisten
To care and share
And always be prepared.

She knew to be dutiful
To patch holes with thread
To make her mama smile
And good words said.

Mandy knew
And she always did her best
The best that she could do
To show that she cared
And that she was good and true
That she sincerely wanted
The best for everyone she knew.

Now she knows
And now it’s clear
That she’s not alone
Because she sees
That they care too.

Hot Cocoa Day

The rain pitter pattered on the roof just the way I liked it as I drew pictures of mazes and dragons. Today would be my cocoa day! It was a known fact that when it rained hard enough to make a pitter patter sound that you can even hear on the first floor while dad snored it’s time for cocoa, the best treat in the world.

The front door opened. My mom stepped into the house and closed her giant dripping umbrella and kicked off her green rain boots.

“It’s really coming down out there, Henry! Phew! So glad to be inside in the cozy house with my favorite kid,” she said as she sat next to me on the couch.

“It would be even better with some cocoa!” I said.

“You’re absolutely right, Henry! Maybe along with a game of Shoots and Ladders?”

“Yeah! Shoots and Ladders and cocoa!” I said.

“I’ll go wake up your dad to see how he’s doing and if he wants to join us,” she said as she left to go to the computer room.

I was really excited for cocoa and Shoots and Ladders but knew I had to wait. I decided to go back to my drawing but something strange happened. The dragon! It was gone.

I looked at all my drawings and saw that all the dragons had disappeared! Was I going crazy? I flipped the drawings in all directions, frontwards, backwards, upside down. The dragons were still not there. I looked all over the couch, took off pillows and cushions. They weren’t there either.

“Henry, what are you doing? Having fun over there? Make sure you put all the pillows and cushions back the way you found them,” mom said.

I put the cushions and pillows back still feeling very confused about the dragons. I wondered if I should tell my mom.

“Uh oh, looks like we’re out of cocoa powder. That’s odd. Sorry Henry. We can have tea instead if you like.”

She looked at me and saw me sitting on the floor looking down. My dad came in overhearing the cocoa news.

“You know, Henry, I am actually planning to go to the store. I could pick up some cocoa powder while I’m there,” he said squatting down to me.

I smiled and hugged him before he left into the drizzling world.

At least the cocoa problem will be solved. That was a close one. Now it’s time for the dragon mystery to be solved one way or another.

“Mom if you were a dragon where would you go?” I said.

“Hmm, that’s an interesting question. I suppose I would go wherever there’s magic and treasure,” she said.

“Why?”

“Because that’s where they feel at home. They can feel their imaginations like you can when they’re home.”

I knew that dragons liked caves and gold from stories so maybe they went somewhere like that. Maybe they were not in the house at all.

I went up to my room to do some dragon research with my picture books to see if I can figure out anything more about this mystery. I was confused to see that my door was closed. I never closed my door. I opened it and was shocked by what I saw.

There were three dragons in my room! Each was the size of a large turkey and they sat in a circle; a purple one on my bed, a yellow one on the floor, and a green one at my desk. All were holding a mug, a mug of hot cocoa!

The purple one had feathers on his head that moved as he stretched his neck in surprise. Slowly they all started to walk towards me. I froze not knowing what they would do if I moved or spoke. When they were less than a foot away from me they sat and lowered themselves. Timidly I reached out toward the purple dragon. I was afraid he would bite or breathe fire at me but instead he bowed his head and closed his eyes. He was waiting to be petted.

Behind the dragons I noticed my drawings were scattered around the room. They were looking through them. Maybe they were looking for something.

Just then all the lights turned off. The power was out! This is truly a very special cocoa day. The dragons’ scales and feathers glowed like night lights.

“Henry? Are you okay? I’m going to fix the power in the backyard if you need me,” called out my mom from downstairs.

I walked to the top of the stairs.

“I’m fine mom. I have a flashlight,” I said looking at the purple, green, and yellow light glowing from my room.

I walked back to my room and saw the dragons gathered at my bedroom window sipping on their cocoa.

“Hreee! Hreee!” the yellow one squeaked.

“Sheesssh! Sheesssh!” the purple one whispered.

“Teeesh! Teeesh!” the green one sang.

Slowly they each made noise. The space between the dragons’ calls got smaller, smaller. Henry realized their song sounded familiar. It sounded like the rain.

 

Henry walked toward the window and was amazed by what he saw. The rain was glowing with colors! Purple, green, yellow! He went outside in it and was covered with color. His dad’s car pulled up into the driveway and Henry saw it was covered in color too.

 

The dragons stopped singing and they all turned their head toward me. They saw my mom and dad peeking through the crack of my bedroom door.

“It’s okay,” I whispered. “They’re friendly,” I smiled at my parents.

My parents walked gently into my room and crowded next to me on the floor. We looked up at the glowing dragons perched next to the moonlit window. The yellow one pointed to my desk. There were three new mugs of hot cocoa.

As I got up to go to my desk I noticed a drawing. It was drawing I didn’t draw. There was a lady, a man, and a little boy with glasses sitting on the floor of a bedroom drinking cocoa. It was us!

Softly, the dragons began to sing again. I sat with my family as we listened to them. Their glow began to get and dimmer and dimmer until we could not see them and soon their singing got softer and softer until we could not here it any longer. After a moment I got up to look at the picture. There was now a purple, green, and yellow dragon near the window along with the family in the bedroom. They were in the picture with us.

“Do you think they found their magic and treasure?” I asked my mom.

“I think we all did, Henry,” she said as we drank our cocoa and listened to the rain.

Previous Older Entries