My youngest sister is almost 7 — that’s not a typo; she’s 40 years younger than I am. My other sister is 25 years younger. My brother is only 5 years my junior, and the only one not adopted. It’s my family. I love them all. But as is usually the case when we are all gathered into one paragraph, it’s all about the youngest: Winter. I figured Solsticing was the right time to write about the force of nature that is Winter.
Usually, our play dates are prearranged and via Zoom or Facebook Messenger, so I was a bit caught off guard when my phone rang last night and instead of my dad, who the number was from, it was Winter. She immediately got to the business at hand, informing me she would like to draw a picture together and I would need one piece of paper and a regular pencil. Extra emphasis was placed on a regular pencil — not a colored pencil or marker. Did I understand? As bad as the connection was, I did.
After a minute, there was some tousling in the background and the line grew choppy, Winter was crying but I couldn’t understand what she was saying. Then, very clearly with a tear stained voice she asked if she could call me back and made me promise to answer the phone when she did.
Thirty minutes later, I was just finishing up a quick dinner when she called again ready to draw. Upon inquiry, the breakdown and devastation from earlier was a call to dinner and to hang up the phone. It wasn’t said but it was clear she had no interest in discussing what had happened — we had giraffe’s to draw.
Drawing with Win is very prescriptive. She likes to dictate how to draw, and what colors and medium to use. I am, for all intents and purposes, her most difficult of students. Our first subject was a giraffe. This was our first subject on our last draw together. To her credit the overall instructions remained the same:
— Draw a circle for the head
— Make a long skinny neck
— Make a big circle for the belly
— Draw the long legs (this time not straight though, we want this giraffe to dance)
“Too late Winter, I already drew straight legs with hooves. Can I just make dancy-dance marks?”
Sigh. “Yes you can”
The order in which you color is also prescriptive.
Once the giraffe was done — me completely messing up by giving my giraffe purple eyes and big lashes. We moved on to and apple, that a tree was to be drawn around. Again the same as the last time. I told the little Bob Ross that I would not be drawing another tree.
Then it was my turn to tell her what to draw. The first was an award for her to give herself. The second, I was told to ask her to draw a Venn “diagraph.” She insisted it was NOT diagram, it was a diagraph. Not entirely sure what it was, I talked her through it and explained its purpose with an ice cream cone.
Our evening ended, as they usually do with a dance party. DJ Nikki served up some Hippopotamus song by special request before she had to get ready for bed. I received a follow up call a few minutes later to tell me she loved me. My heart grew two sizes last night.
Song of the day: I want a hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey