Four Fingered Discount

Sometimes we all need a helping hand.

Sometimes we all need a helping hand.

I try not to blog about the kiddos too much on Mrs Fringe for two reasons.  One, this is my spot to be me–all of me, not just mamaing, but certainly being a mom is a big part of me.  Two, their privacy.  This week is my girl’s birthday, though.  And it’s a big one.  So we took a trip downtown and went to the art store.  A new one for us, haven’t explored it before.  Flower Child was given all the time she wanted to look at each pencil, eraser, and every other thing that I don’t know what they’re called or how they’re used, but she does.  And she saw the manikins.  I know they’re useful, but all these little things add up in price.  She saw this hand, missing one finger, and asked me if I thought they’d give it to us for fewer dollars because it had fewer fingers.  I told her to ask the manager.  She did, and he did.  Thank you!

Of course, she has a long list of things she would love for her birthday.  But…budget.  And as hard as I tried, I couldn’t summon a unicorn.  We do the best we can.  One of the things on her list was a name change.  She wants to be called Art Child here in Fringeland, instead of Flower Child.  I can do this, and I think I should.  Here’s a drawing she’s been working on for the past week.

I love this.  Not quite finished, but I say this definitely = a name change, don't you?

I love this. Not quite finished, but I say this definitely = a name change, don’t you?

I continue to be blown away by her developing talent.  She pours her dreams onto the sketch pad, uses her charcoals to smudge them into something visible, something tangible, something I can feel.

I’ve been thinking about dreams a lot these days.  How, as someone who writes, a wannabe, I take bits and pieces of what I see, hear, and feel.  I inhale them, taste them, smoosh them together, let them harden, and then tap them with the keys on my laptop until they crack and the cracks become stories. Written dreams that turn into personal dreams of connecting with readers, publication.  At this point in my life, dreaming isn’t enough.  A head in the clouds doesn’t protect you from the potholes under your feet.  Work needs to be done, mamaing needs to happen, life has to be lived.

When we left the art supply store we walked down 23rd St.  I looked at the old YMCA and wondered what happened to the dreams of the young men who stayed there years ago, before it became a trendy Crunch gym.

Yup, the one that inspired the song.

Yup, the one that inspired the song.

But for now, I want Art Child to dream.  I will watch out for the cracks in the sidewalk.


  1. This made me smile. I love seeing parents encourage things like this. My (otherwise loving and wonderful) parents would have asked how I planned to build a career with it — tacitly telling me to stop doing it with the question. Understandable (their parents were Irish immigrants who lived through the Great Depression), but not quite the same.

    Good job.


    1. Thank you! And I can relate, I was raised in a working class home, all about “get a union job!”

      My parents’ response to my wanting to write was “and how are you going to eat?” So far, they haven’t been wrong, but part of me always wonders…maybe if I had begun trying, a little faith earlier…. When you have that dream, that drive, in my experience it doesn’t disappear until/unless you try.


  2. Raising a glass of fizzy blueberry soda: To Art Child, a happy birthday, and may your future be filled with all the pencils and erasers and arty doo-dads you can imagine. And to Mrs. Fringe, dream on. Don’t stop. Don’t pause. You can dream with one eye on the sidewalk. The Fringe Children will happily keep an eye out, too. Their dreams are your dreams, but I assure you, yours are theirs as well.


  3. Hah, I saw your post title and remembered the quote from a long-ago Simpsons episode: “four finger discount, man!” (I think Bart learned his Lesson™ about shoplifting or something?)

    Your daughter draws very well! Though I try to draw with words (see? poetic as hell) my actual acuity in visual arts is quite bad. I still draw at about the Kindergarten or first grade level. You can tell what I’ve drawn, more or less, but it is NOT pleasing to the eye!


    1. Tee hee, if someone else can tell what you’ve drawn, you’re much better than I. 😀

      Much like music, I have great appreciation for art, but no talent of my own.

      I’m not familiar with the Simpsons reference, but five finger discount is a phrase from way back. 😉


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