Watercoloring with Caroline this afternoon, I realized that we all really do see the world differently. I was creating a lovely watercolor landscape (trying to get across the idea of rinsing the brush in the water between colors) when I started to add a sun to my painting. A yellow sun. I narrated as I drew the sun but was quickly cut off with the directive that I should be using orange. The moon is yellow; the sun is orange. Now, I disagree, seeing for myself that the moon is white, and the sun is yellow, but I can see her point. I vividly remember disagreeing with my kindergarten teacher over the color of trees. We were given coloring pages, poorly mimeographed so that the words were hardly legible. Each item on the page was labeled with a color. The label for the tree trunks was totally illegible, save for the first letter B. Well, I knew that one and didn’t need to ask for clarification. Tree trunks are black. My teacher disagreed with me (as she so often did. I could probably write a years’ worth of blog entries about my kindergarten challenges.) I grew up surrounded by pine trees, which certainly have black trunks. If she wanted brown trunks, she should have made better copies or moved herself somewhere north.
So, I decided not to argue with my daughter about the orange-ness of the sun. And I’ll never take away her chair just because she doesn’t sit in it or ridicule her for finding a clever shortcut for a ridiculously mundane task1. (But enough of my own K-bitterness.)
1 – In kindergarten, EVERY SINGLE DAY, we had to write our numbers on Big Chief tablets. It just took FOREVER. I just hated writing those numbers, over and over again. One day, I realized what a waste writing the tens digit for all the teens was, since it was the same number over and over,1-0, 1-1, 1-2… and that tens digit was just a line after all. I got out my ruler, drew a line right down the page, and then proceeded to add the second digit to all the teens. Pretty smart, I think. My teacher did not agree.