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face painting...

Friday, May 13, 2016
...for several hours today at a local elementary school. Today was 'Field Day', where apparently everyone has an opportunity to enjoy fun and games, wet and dry, competitions for prizes/awards or just for the joy of being out of class on a beautiful spring morning. I'd seen a sign up sheet in the break room at work, asking for people to donate their time, go and help with running an event that needed volunteers to make it all run as smoothly as possible.

I choose to not help things run smoothly. But did offer to paint little faces with amusing designs. Something super simple and quick, with only a few choices to forestall indecision and produce maximum number of painted cheeks in minimal amount of time. The options were a pink/lavender butterfly, a lady bug, a football or a green snake. Sadly I forgot to take my poster with changeable index cards that would have several choices for kids to decide upon. So flying by the seat of my pants, I found a sheet of blank copy/typing paper (though no one actually 'types' any more!) and drew little illustrations with my handy markers to have ready for kids to look at, decide before they sat in the chair to become illustrated.

I wish I had the foresight to keep a count of how many little cheeks and a few hands got painted this morning. I think I got started about 9:00, and was packing up by 11:00. The kids were all hot and sticky and being herded back  into air conditioned classrooms by then, and I was ready to be gone.

Dozens and dozens of pink butterflies, red ladybugs, wiggly little green snakes, and footballs. I did not consider that many of the little faces would be varying shades of brown, with very few Caucasians. The khaki/tan color of the football did not show up well on them, so next time I will offer the option of baseball instead of pigskin.

In the chaos, excitement and bedlam of the morning, I expect most of the designs were either wiped away, or dripped off due to hot sweaty little bodies - but it was fun while it lasted. At some point a mom came in the gym and offered to help, so she jumped right in with a brush and paints. I'd guess between the two of us we must have painted simple, cute, fun designs on at least 100 little people. Bugs, sports and one little girl who insisted on a heart.

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