Like most artists, I can usually find inspiration in other art forms, but everyday life provides an interesting experience too.
Last week, my son and I were at the park. He was climbing on the monkey bars and the jungle gym when a little girl and her friend walked over clutching their dolls. The first little girl turned to the other children and announced, ”Girls don’t play on the monkey bars,” and pulled her friend away. Her father and I smiled at each other. Being the provocateur that I am, I asked my son “Do girls play on the monkey bars too?” He said, “ Yes Daddy.” On his own he went over to the little girls and said, ”I’ve seen girls play on the monkey bars.” They looked at him as if to consider his comments. Then they went back to their dolls. Five minutes later I saw those little girls climbing on the monkey bars and I thought to myself good for them. Then the first little girl came over to me and said, “I’m going to go climb on these brown monkey bars. They are like the ones at my school except they’re brown and my school’s are blue.“ I smiled and said, ” They look fun.”
I inferred that she always wanted to climb on all the monkey bars, but somewhere or somehow she believed couldn’t because she was a girl. Sometimes, all any of us need is someone to tell us a thing is possible for us to imagine ourselves doing it.
I thought that this was an inspirational experience for a children’s story. It was an interesting situation to witness. I’m hoping when this little girl goes to school on Monday, she’s going to “Lean in” to those blue monkey bars.