My son Adam surprised me the other day by wanting to accompany me to the Falls. It turned out to be gorgeous and sunny and we shared this moment together. In his mind, we each had a distinct role to play. I was to be the “artist” and he would be the “explorer”. In reality, those roles frequently overlapped and I think it’s fun and interesting when those distinctions blur anyway.
We walked down to the water’s edge to see if anything cool had washed ashore. Adam got sidetracked when he came up with the idea of writing his name in the sand. He found a stick that felt good in his hands and set about the business of making his mark on the world. Judging from how large the final result was, I’m guessing Adam has big ambitions for his life. Or, as his father, it might just be me projecting my own hopes into gestural lines drawn in the sand.
We found an old motorcycle helmet which Adam immediately claimed. He did, however, remove the Styrofoam lining and he gave that to me. I once made a nice turtle using a similar foam lining from a discarded bicycle helmet and he remembered that. Wearing old jeans (aptly named high waters), Adam allowed the river to wash over his feet and he was surprised by the still frigid water and the stickiness of the mud.
Here’s a picture of Adam the “Log Rider”! The yellow handlebars are from some riding toy we found in the sand. This is Adam’s favorite picture from this day and he wanted me to be sure to include this one.
Once we found a good place to rest and eat our chocolate chip cookies, I dumped the contents of this collecting bag onto the sand. From a previous foray, I had pre-stashed some foam chunks near this spot. While Adam played, I worked on a large figure to help us mark this day. I had relocated an especially large piece of Styrofoam that I had previously used to make two other figures. This would be the first time I have re-re-recycled something. I asked Adam to take my picture while I worked, and here I am in action. The wooden stairs I’m sitting on washed up here last year.
Who knew that this artist has such a big head! The mouth on this one is a reflector from a bicycle wheel. The nose is the horn from another bicycle I had found months earlier. The eyes are large fishing floats. The ears are made from found wood and that yellowish object on top is the plastic part of a lawn dart. When Adam and I finished assembling the entire figure, I took his picture next to it so it can help you judge scale. All in all, it was a wonderful day for father and son and we need to do this again soon. Maybe next time, we can convince older brother to come along too? Peace!