“I can’t take you to the park sweetie because the Giants are about to start playing.” My dad’s words echo in my head as I try to think of all the possible things this could mean. I imagine people one hundred times my size, stomping their way across my playground. Is that what earthquakes really are?
I look down at my sketch pad, crayons in hand, and begin to draw. One giant has long hair and he wears a red shirt with blue pants. I draw his head first with my pencil before drawing in his yellow hair. It looks as if someone has put an “O” inside of a ‘U’ and flipped it upside down. I make sure to give him a big frown, two red eyes, and some angry blue eyebrows. I quickly scribble in the red on his shirt, carefully staying within the lines of my pre-drawn rectangle. I color his legs with my blue crayon. That’s when I realize there is way too much space under his feet. Fortunately, this dilemma can be easily resolved by simply placing him on top of something. I draw him standing on top of a swing set. This is very easy to draw. It takes only a few seconds before I move on to the next thing.
I draw a very large cat next to him on the ground. The ground. It has to be green but I don’t have that. A figurative lightbulb appears above my small blonde head. First, I put yellow all along the bottom of the page. Now it is time for the blue. I lightly color the blue on but it’s not enough. I press a little harder and scribble back and forth twice. Too dark. In class yesterday we learned about mixing colors to make other ones. I move onto the cat, deeming the blue on the grass to be irreversible. First, yellow. The cat blends in with the white paper background and I find myself increasingly unsatisfied with my artwork. Some cats are orange but I don’t have an orange either. I remember that yellow and red make orange, so I grab my red crayon with a tight fist. It smears a thick layer of red wax over the yellow, completely removing any visible trace of the underneath color.
My anxiety grows and my heart pounds in my chest. Are the giants going to stop me from ever playing again? How dangerous is my life going to be from here on out? Maybe he just means the big kids. I can hear the TV talking in the background and make out the word “Giants.” Oh my gosh… It’s on the news? I always know that when something is on the news, it is a very big deal. I begin to panic. I scribble my dad and I onto the paper. We are running away from the giants. I draw another one chasing us. He has a frown too.
“Dad?!” I call out his name and wait. He doesn’t answer. Did the giants get him? He always says to wait 10 seconds before saying his name again in case he is busy.
“One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…” I slowly extend my fourth finger.
“Four Mississippi, Five Mississippi,”
I move onto my second hand, take a deep breath, and count twice as fast.
“What.” He speaks in a raised voice with a hint of worry and annoyance.
“Where are you?” I ask, still worried about him even after his audible confirmation, showing that he is in fact still alive. I hear his heavy footsteps approaching my door.
“I was watching the giants, remember?” Those words invoke a sudden rush of emotion inside me.
A tear rolls down my cheek and splashes onto my drawing. His head tilts to the side and a look of concern takes over his face. He sits down next to me on my bed.
“Can I see your drawing?”
I nod my head and he leans in for a closer look.
“Dad, I’m scared the giants are going to get us.”