Thursday, July 8, 2010


Hey Miss T,

Remember how I babysat the other day? Here's what happened.

V-princess scribbled a Meanbow. We sprayed off her dirty play castle in the backyard, fed all of her stuffed animals “water and yogurt,” and sang every song she knew while her baby brother slowly ate his mushed beef and carrot. After all of that, she was ready to color, and she colored a Meanbow.

We got out her spiral notebook that I thought was allowed for coloring (turns out it's not, but what can you do when you believe the lips of a 3-year old who assures you Mommy gave it to her specifically for coloring?). I pulled out her bag of awesome twist-up crayons, which are too classy of a crayon to be given to children in my opinion, and began to put color on the page. She violently scribbled some lines and mumbled something about “that’s angry” and “yes it's mean, it looks mean.” She took three or four colors more, then assured me that it was ok if I didn’t color inside the lines, and then didn't color inside any lines as if to show me by example. Then she made a few more strong scribbles and remarked with satisfaction “This is a Meanbow.” As in, not a rainbow, but a Meanbow.

I studied the picture briefly, then agreed with the diagnosis of her own masterpiece. The jagged lines and blotches of color did look angry and mean, yet colorful and strong. They zig-zagged across each other as if competing for space, and struck out sharply at neighboring colors. These very same colors, the bold, strong and bright ones that make up something beautiful, a rainbow, also make up a Meanbow.

Children always seem to teach us things about life. I thought about the days that I too make a Meanbow. I make angry strokes, or just do things in frustration, competing for time and attention at all costs. My weaknesses flare out in zig-zag and jagged array, near uncontrollably. Other days my actions are as gentle as summer rains, forming a vivid rainbow for myself and often others to enjoy as well.

I tried to take a picture of V-princess’s Meanbow. She said, “No! Don’t take a picture of that” as if she was ashamed for her Meanbow to be seen and recognized for what it really was by anyone else. I understood her shame. But I snuck a picture anyway.

It feels good to scribble out a good Meanbow out every once in a while. Sure rainbows are nicer, and preferred in general, but sometimes don't Meanbows look a little more like rainbows in hindsight?

-Auntie Kk


  1. What a perceptive little thing. I can relate!

  2. Man, that girl knows what is going on. I think I draw myself a Meanbow everyday in my head. Never thought of it that way at all.

  3. When she gets older she should try water colors. This could be a real talent that she has here. Yea for modern art...