“That was long,” he says, slipping his fingers between mine.
“It was,” I agree, squeezing his hand, noting the slight of his cheeks, the sure of his step, the big in my boy.
“Was it fun?” I ask with mothering words, leading the conversation my way.
He squints into my question. A cyclist speeds, a dog barks, a bird lands. “No,” he finally answers. He turns his head from side to side, sure of his answer.
We’re walking from his sister’s school talent show. I was so proud of the 7 year olds taking the “stage” with songs and poems, hoola hoops and jump ropes. I cheered for them with crossed fingers that they’ll hold onto that unabashed Look at me for as long as possible.
So it was fun, for me as a mom of one of those 7 year olds.
But when you’re 4 and you go to a lot of events and activities that aren’t your own, “not fun” is probably a pretty good description of how it was.
Before I have the chance to flex and smooth and mother this moment, his fingers release mine and he runs.
Bright sun and hot wind frame his quickness and far ahead, I see him drop. Knees to ground, toes tipped, he sits at the edge where the newly greened grass meets the sidewalk.
He slips off his baseball cap and starts filling it with dandelions, plucking them one by one until his hat is overflowing with sunshine, and fun.
His face lights, his voice travels. There’s no need to quiet either one so I ask, “Want to paint with those?”
His cheeks raise, “That’s fun.” He affirms. I couldn’t possibly agree more.
How to Paint with Dandelions
- Pick dandelions, leaving enough stem for little hands to hold
- Pour colorful paint onto a paper plate (or if your paint bottles are wide enough, you can skip this step and dip right into them)
- Use your dandelions as stamps, dipping them into paint and then onto paper
- Let your little one experiment with repeated stamps before “reloading” a dandelion, the stamps look different depending how much paint is on them
- We use a different dandelion for each paint color
- This also looks lovely with black paint on white paper or white paint on black paper
- When the masterpiece is complete, let it dry and consider framing it – holding onto your golden moment a titch longer.