The squeshed bug

I don’t think it’s possible to outgrow sidewalk chalk. It doesn’t matter what age or gender you are. It’s something for children, but kids in their upper teens can enjoy it, too (ahem, like myself).

For our first Easter together, I put a basket together for Robby. I put a pack of Crayola sidewalk chalk in the basket and Robby thought it was odd. I think he thought we were a little too old for it (he was 15, I was 16). Then, one beautiful day in July, I took the chalk and started drawing. A zoo erupted from the chalk:

Robby even joined in after awhile. We’ve done plenty of chalk drawings since then. He drew a house for us up on a mountain, and I drew ants below it (derived from Ingrid Michaelson’s song “You and I,” which is one of our favorites). We’re not the most talented chalk artists, but we have fun with it.

Today brought warm(er) weather, forcing us outside to ride our bikes, sit on the porch and, finally, break out the chalk and dust it off. I decided to draw my car (Bubbles the Bug…she might need her own page on Blackbyrd pretty soon…). While I was drawing the car, Robby drew a comet just above Bubbles, ready to crush her. Then he wrote “= SQUESHED BUG” (‘e’ in “squashed” instead of an ‘a’ – I got a kick out of it).

It turned into a war with chalk. He drew different ways to destroy the Bug (one even included a fly swatter), and I came up with ways to fix her up again. It got way out of hand when I “set fire” to his bike by drawing flames on the ground all around it. His comeback was by drowning MY bike.

You’re never too old to have fun with sidewalk chalk.  Just remember that.

Me, sitting in my Bug

Emily’s poetry, a history

I’ve been writing poetry for years. My mother named me after her favorite poet, so why not carry it on? I started out with a composition notebook that I decorated with stickers. Everyone just assumed it was my diary, as if it couldn’t be anything but a shallow notebook with all of my deepest secrets and fears hidden inside. Nobody gave me enough credit. Boys would steal it from me, but I managed to get it back without any harm done. They were only teasing. Teasing is harmless, right?

After that was filled, I moved onto a pink camouflage notebook that had pens attached to the front of it. It was nifty because if I had an idea I didn’t have to hunt for a pen before being able to write it down. The pens were just there. That notebook was also known as my “diary” and even a teacher asked: “why do you bring your diary to school?” To which I simply replied: “it’s not a diary.”

I poured random thoughts and whimsical dreams into those notebooks. Within about a month, the pages started ripping out of the pink camo notebook, so I saved the paper, but threw the rest of the notebook in the garbage. It was time to move on again.

I found a regular old yellow spiral notebook and plastered it with quotes, stickers, drawings, and pop-up sunflowers that I ripped off a thing I had at home. Poetry was transferred from my head onto the pages of that thing for about a year. I entered the seventh grade with the same notebook, and only showed the ones I was proud of to my then English teacher (who is now a teacher in the high school). The boys in my grade grew up a little and stopped calling it my diary, and I continued writing.

For my birthday that year, one of my best friends (we barely speak anymore…) bought me a hardcover spiral notebook with puppies on the front. Said notebook lasted me for nearly two years. That notebook taught me something important. Because I wanted the notebook to last, I only wrote poetry when I really really felt like it and had a good feeling about an idea. I decided that I didn’t have to write about everything – but there are some things that I will always wish to remember. I still have one page left in that notebook that remains empty. If I fill it in, the notebook is done forever. I always want to have the option of being able to fill it up totally. It’s amazing to go from the earlier poems in that book to the last few. It’s like traveling through two years of my life in thirty minutes.

Eventually, I took a little notebook that was a party favor at some birthday party I went to (I think it was Carin’s) and ripped out the used pages. I then covered it with duct tape, and voila! New notebook.

Using the duct tape notebook, I rewrote some of the ones I am really proud of, but I also wrote a year’s worth of new material. I am still busy filling it up with my life, so it’s a work in progress. It’s crazy to see how much I have grown in the past year. There are some poems in said book that are extremely naive and young-sounding. I know I will say the same thing in the future when I look back at what I wrote when I was fifteen (the present… for now), but I like what is exploding out of my pen at the moment. Maybe I will post some examples in the near future (which is defined as: later today).