Bubbo & Paint

Keaton loves exploring toy cars at the park. Always gotta check the wheels and the mechanics of all the parts to make sure that they work!

We discovered a new park recently, and so far, it’s our favourite park. (We’re park hoebeans.) Not only is this new one close to our home, and the walk there a quiet and pleasant experience without heavy traffic, but it also has all the kiddie fun of a park, plus more. Besides the usual play structure, this park also has many car toys and trucks that littles ones can ride or play with. There are even bubbles on the picnic table for kids to enjoy. (This is how Keaton learned how to say ‘bubbles’, or what is actually ‘bubbo’ to him.) I’m not sure if all these additions were left as donations to the park from families or the community, but I’m very thankful. They make the park ever more vibrant and exploratory for kids, and my son loves them. For myself, I also love that the park has wood shavings instead of sand. I’ve lived my whole summer in a hot sandbox, so this is such sweet relief for my tired toe beans.

The park is also imbued with nature’s gift: rocks. It looks as if the park rains rocks, because there’s just so many all around; and they’re all so shapely, smooth, and lustrous. Almost idyllic. One day, my husband picked up a few, popped them in the stroller, and came up with the idea of painting them; and thus started our journey towards rock painting.

Keaton’s first painted rock! I’m so proud of and in love with it, because it’s him and it’s his first. I guided his hand a bit, of course. Otherwise, he would’ve painted everything but the rock itself.
This one is my first painted rock. Featuring daddy, mommy, and Keaton-ai. These are the same little fur characters that I’d draw on my husband’s lunchbox napkins back when we started dating. I painted our family over a rainbow here because in the midst of eighteen months of memorable yet gloomy times, we fought with strength, togetherness, and will. There was no other way but to appreciate the joyous fleeting moments that made life more bearable. And this was our family’s journey with all its imperfections — yet sealed with love.
My husband painted me a lady turtle. She even has a red bow. Super cute because she also reminds me of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” — a true homage to our first dates. We painted our rocks together at the dinner table when Keaton fell asleep one night. It was a simple date night, but through painting and the creative act, we were able to connect with each other and with our own soul.
This one turned out spontaneously Christmas-y. Perhaps subconsciously I was craving the colder winter months. “You skipped on Halloween!” my husband roared. A true betrayal on my end.
Our painted rock collection, so far.

I’ve already had so much fun painting the few, and I can’t wait to paint more. I think rock painting will now become my new hobby. It’s quick and easy; it’s mediative and creative; and the rocks add so much colour and happiness to our home. Mama here is on cloud-9! I just have to be mindful not to steal all the rocks from the park.

I painted this one for my parents. It’s Kong-Kong (Grandpa), Keaton, and Ma-ma (Grandma) together, holding hands. The balloon that Keaton’s holding, as well as the colourful birthday ribbons and decor, all symbolize the times when Kong-Ma would sing “Happy Birthday” to him. It’s their theme song together.

Besides my new interest in painting rocks, we’ve also started introducing Keaton to painting in general. I must admit that the set-up takes more time and effort than the painting itself, which is frustrating because he only plays with the paint and for one minute at a time, and then resorts to throwing his brushes and paper on the floor; but nevertheless, I enjoy these moments very much. He’s such a contrarian; there’s no other way with this kiddo but laughter.

Keaton’s first official painting. My father had always kept our art work and scribbles and dated them since we were mere nuggets, and now, I’m doing the same with my son. I’ve stashed it away safely, and I look forward to the day when he’s old enough for me to show it to him and for us to look back at his childhood with nostalgic warmth.

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