Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Bedtime Story (12/9/2018)

I am, as it turns out, fairly rubbish at painting.  However, I do enjoy it!  So, this story is dedicated to every creative person out there, no matter what their skill level!

To listen to this story as a podcast, please click here!

"I Love Painting!"

The sun was shining, the weekend had finally arrived and Max wanted to rush straight down to the park to play football.  Elliot had his skateboard tucked under his arm, ready to try out some new tricks.  Leila wanted to try flying the new drone she'd just gotten for her birthday.  And Annie?

Well, Annie wasn't going.

Whilst her brothers and sister were tugging on coats and hurrying to the door, Annie was quietly fetching her paints, brushes and sketchbook.

"How come you paint all the time?"  Elliot asked, pulling a face.

"Because I love painting," Annie, the youngest in her family, replied.  

Max put down his football and crossed the room, to where Annie was setting up her things.  He nodded down at the pictures in Annie's sketchbook.  "You're good at painting," he told her.  "But don't you want to come to the park with us?"

Annie thought for a second.  "Can I bring my paints?"

Leila joined them, hugging her new drone close to her chest.  "You could sit at a picnic table and do some painting?"  She suggested.  "That way, you can still paint, but you get to come and play with us, too!"

After a short pause, Annie agreed.  Her brothers and sister still weren't quite sure why she needed to bring her paints to the park, but they were pleased she was joining them.  They didn't want her to feel left out, after all.

The park was busy and it took them a while to find an empty picnic table, for Annie to sit at.  "I'll stay close," Leila assured her.  "In case you need me for anything."

But Annie was perfectly happy by herself.  She had everything she needed.  She opened up her sketchbook, found a clean page and dipped her paintbrush into the pot of water Mum had given her to take to the park, before selecting a colour to use.  Slowly, she let her paintbrush glide across the page, leaving a streak of colour in its wake.  She could hear the shrieks of children playing on the park equipment, or kicking a ball around on the grass, but it all seemed to float over her head.  Annie was in her own little world.  A world of colour, shapes and imagination.  A world in which she could create anything she wanted!

A few times, Max, Elliot and Leila asked if she was alright, or whether she wanted to join in with what they were doing.  But Annie was happiest exactly where she was.

She barely noticed the time passing by.  It took her by surprise when Max came running over to say he was getting hungry and they ought to think about heading home for lunch.  Annie glanced up from her sketchbook and gave her brother a smile.  "Okay," she began, as Elliot and Leila came scurrying over to join them.  But before she could close the book, Max had pointed down at the picture Annie had been working on.

"Is that Leila?"

Annie nodded, glancing at her painting.  She pointed to a small, black and yellow object in the sky.  "That's the drone," she explained.  "It's not very good, but it's supposed to look blurry, because it was flying so fast."

Leila leaned in to look, a wide grin on her face.  "And there's Elliot on his skateboard," she chuckled.  "Look, see?  Next to the tree?"

Elliot beamed.  "Hey, Max, you're in the painting, too!  You're in the background, doing keepy-uppies!"

"This is really cool," Max told his sister.  "It's like having a little snapshot of the trip to the park, to remember it by!"

Annie smiled.  "I like painting what I see in front of me, sometimes," she explained.  "And it is like taking a picture.  I look back at what I painted and I remember where we were and what we were doing."  She flicked through the sketchbook, pointing at paintings of her family and friends.

"Is that why you like painting, so much?"  Elliot asked.

Annie shrugged.  "Why do you like skateboarding so much?"  She asked in reply.

Elliot paused.  "I...  There's more than one reason, really," he said.

Annie smiled back at him.  "And there's lots and lots of different reasons I like painting so much.  Sometimes, I like to paint things I see in front of me, or paint things I remember happening, so I have a memory of them.  And sometimes I like to use my imagination and paint things I've made up in my mind.  But whatever I paint, just mixing the colours and creating the picture on the page makes me feel really happy."  She glanced at her brothers and sister.  "Just like skateboarding makes you happy, football makes Max happy and messing about with remote controlled cars and drones and stuff makes Leila happy."

"I guess when you say it like that, we've all got different things that we enjoy, haven't we?"  Leila said.  "And those things are part of what makes us who we are!"

Max put his football down, beneath the picnic bench.  "Annie...  Can I do a painting?"

Annie gently tore out a page from her sketchbook.  "Of course," she said.  "But...  I thought you wanted to go home for lunch?"

Max grinned.  "Maybe I'll paint a picture of what I'd like to eat?"

"I think I'd like to paint a picture as well," Leila announced, placing her drone on the table and taking a seat beside Max.  "I could paint the world from above.  Try imagining what the park looks like to the drone, when it's flying through the sky!"

Elliot dropped his skateboard and sat down next to Annie.  "I'm going to paint a picture of you," he told her.  "To remember that you're the one who taught us that we all like different things, but that that's okay, and we can still be friends and try to share those things, sometimes."

Annie beamed as she handed out paintbrushes and pages from the sketchbook.  She was more than happy to let her brothers and sister enter her little world.

And as the sun continued to shine down, all four got to work, creating memories, letting their imaginations fly and losing themselves in a world of colour.


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