the girls had gathered art supplies from upstairs, brought them downstairs, and made themselves busy at the kitchen table – while i cleaned up from lunch. i looked over and observed the following.
a.’s tongue was pressed tight to the corner of her tensed lips, her eyes were zoned, and a trickle of snot had crept from her nose. she gave a quick sniffle, to bring the caterpillar back in the cave, shifted her tongue, gazed up, and then quickly back to focus – a robot like motion, a motion much like resetting to the next line on a typewriter. i’m not sure if my mind or her eyes made that wonderful mechanical noise that typewriters used to make, as her pupils lifted, quickly hit the ceiling, and then fell back down on ‘her world’. “da’ zingk”. the only thing existing at that moment – for her- was in her hands. she shifted in her chair, gave a sideways glance – to be sure sister wasn’t working her way towards any of ‘her’ materials, another darting glance at sister, this time to be certain that sister wasn’t one clumsy fall away from disturbing her creation, and a final check, this time to see what sister was working on.
i was washing dishes at the kitchen sink, felt a ‘force’, looked down, and there was the three-foot-four-inch ninja, eyes blurred from concentration, hair without a part, and little hands holding a collection of objects held together by a number of adhesives, she extended her ‘art baby’ and asked that i tie a knot. the string was affixing a piece of construction paper to a roll of paper towel, and the roll of paper towel had been transformed into a valentine’s day kaleidoscope with wings. there was a panted ‘thanks’ as she shuffled back to the table. h. had now successfully plastered cray paper to each of her fingers, which left the glue stick hopelessly melted to itself. her eyes were smiling and wide, her face was painted with smudged marker, her creation, no less awesome, but, her creation was ripped to pieces, while a.’s fingers turned into tweezers as she put the finishing touches on her prized piece of work.
she was done, for now, and a. and h. took turns looking through their ‘heart-a-scope’ – for a moment. then h. wanted it longer than a., a. pulled it away and said it was hers, h. cried, a. scurried to her room – heart-a-scope in hand, h. cried a little more, and we all took a ten minute break.