Oh how great it feels to be back in the swing of things. It's been a long, cold, lonely winter (see what I did there, Beatles fans?)... and while the winter season is still present, the face painting season is finally coming back to life. The main aspect of my job that I miss the most in my "slow season" is I miss the kids. I miss all the little smiling faces who want to hang out with me, and let me transform them.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of painting at the birthday party of a lovely little princess named Olivia. She had a lot of cool kids at her birthday party, a couple of familiar faces too!
So I arrive at the party, and do what I do...Greet Olivia, hang out with cool kids, and paint.
Enter The Fireman. 4 years old. Cute as all get out. And oh so loquacious. He talked and talked and talked. Well... he wasn't a fireman yet. That was up to me. Yes, he stumped me. He wanted to be PAINTED as a fireman. I struggled to come up with a design, but managed to paint somewhat of a fireman's hat on his forehead, and some flames coming up on his cheeks. Pretty cool, I think. Well, The Fireman talked his little heart out while I painted him. I listened intently as I painted through all the wiggles. He talked. I painted. I painted. He talked. And talked. And talked some more. He told me all about what he liked (general boy stuff) and what he wanted to be when he grew up (a police officer like his uncle). It didn't bother me any, I love to talk and listen to kids! When I was about to finish off his design with some black outline I said "Ok, sweetie, for this part I need you to not talk because it moves your whole face, and you have to be really still for this part, ok?" He nodded. I started the outline. He spoke. Again.
The Fireman: "Can I just say one more thing?"
Me: "..... Yes"
The Fireman: "You're the sweetest lady in the world."
"Oh my goodness, I adore you! Can I take you home with me?!"
The Fireman: "No, you wouldn't want to do that. I do bad things sometimes.:
Me: *heart melts even more* "Honey, all kids so bad things sometimes, and some grownups do too!"
We chatted a little more as I finished up his design.
He looked at it in the mirror, scrutinized it even, and I asked... "Is it ok?"
He said "Yup! It's good!" and hopped off the chair and ran off to play with the other kids.
I feel so lucky and blessed that I can be "the sweetest lady in the world" to that little fireman. I am so blessed to hear kids say "I want to be like you when I grow up" and "Can you come over tomorrow too?" That's why I do that I do. Face painting is so much more than entertainment or a party favor. It's a connection. Art is love. Face painting is art. Face painting is love.
*note: To the parents of the fireman, if you're reading this, I would love a photo of your little man in his fireman face paint. If you're comfortable sharing, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh and also... way to go on creating a sweet, loving little human! You must be very proud. Thank you for him. He made my day.*