I was allowed to draw on the walls.
One day, as I sat Indian style on the floor of my playroom, my not yet five year old eyes traveled from the small coloring book in front of me to the four large stucco canvases boxing me in.
Always thinking outside the rectangle, I stood up and put my periwinkle Crayola to the eggshell wall.
An hour or so later, the dinosaurs, birds, trees, ocean, cats, boats, clouds, ghosts and various other creatures that lived behind my eyes had leapt from brain to fingers to all of the walls of my room.
My father was the first to arrive at my art opening.
“Son, what have you done?” he said, more amazed than enraged.
“I made a picture!”…I said, innocently.
“Hold on a minute”, he said. Then he went to fetch my mother. Whenever my dad was in a disciplinary conundrum, my mother had to be brought in as an expert witness.
My mother arrived, pink foam curlers and all. She looked at the walls for a few seconds, took a puff of her Kent and said…
“Well, well, well! Look at all these wonderful drawings!”
My mother did not miss a beat. She instantly knew that she was playing with my creative blocks. I could see it in her blue eyes that she was well aware that this was the moment that I might look back on in therapy and say, “I could have been an artist, but my mother squashed my dreams with a bottle of Windex!”
She winked at me.
I went back to coloring in my Jack-O-Lantern.
Behind me, I heard my father whisper to my mother. “What should we do?”
“We should get him a bigger box of crayons”, said my mother softly.They turned around, closed the door to my bedroom and opened the door of my mind forever.