Pistachio ice cream, Tangerine whip. I read the names of the colors as I hold my mother’s hand by her index finger, tightly, while she chatters on with the man behind the desk of the paint store.
What kinds of names are these I think: not green, not orange but pistachio ice cream, tangerine whip!
My first grade teacher, Mrs. Allison, has never mentioned colors in this way. In fact we are learning about colors of the rainbow and I know the seven colors ROY G BIV by heart. Mrs. Allison says I am a good student and very smart because I raised my hand in class the other day and explained how a rainbow was made by the sunlight reflecting through those tiny droplets of water. Actually, I am not so smart. What a cool trick Mrs. Allison has taught us – that’s what helps me remember the colors; but Pistachio ice cream? Where is that in ROY G BIV?
Pistachio ice cream is what I love best when I come home after school for my afternoon snack. Tangerines are my favorite fruit because I love the smell of citrus oil that sprinkles on my hand when I push my thumb through the skin on the top to open the fruit. My mother gives me fruit as a treat after I do my homework and I usually do that after I come home from school in the afternoon before I go out to play at my friend Anna’s house.
Today, I ran all the way home from school since my mother and I are shopping for new paint for my room. My mother is so confident as she talks to the man behind the desk and I squeeze her hand to let her know I am still there. She loves me and I love her and we are going to get a color that suits us both. And this is it I realize. We are happy as we shop and Tangerine whip is the color of happiness like ours, Pistachio ice cream is the color of love like ours and that’s why these colors are not just green, not just orange but also ice cream.
She bends down and hugs me. “Happy Birthday Sweetie.”