We have a definite theme in these first memories. Today was Hailee’s first contribution and it was from a trip to the Kansas City Zoo to see Lea the elephant paint. I’m pretty sure I was at least as excited as the kids were for the trip.
Elephants and penguins have always been special for our family. Penguins were from my mom-I have a collection on my shelf and the kids have a stuffed penguin from her. My grandmother collected elephants, but only with their trunks pointed up so they wouldn’t lose their luck. I fell more in love with them after reading Silent Thunder: In the Presence of Elephants about how elephants communicate, their social lives, and efforts to protect them from culling. Elephants represent loyalty, intelligence, and determination. I was once told that elephants represent manifestation-that with commitment, we can accomplish anything. For those reasons, when I completed my Ph.D., I had a former student tattoo an image of an elephant on my foot.
I don’t remember where I first saw an elephant painting but I do remember searching to see if there was one closer to where my family lived so we could go and watch them. I was excited that we would be able to see Lea the elephant paint at the Kansas City Zoo. I remember it being very hot the day we went and we had to wait quite awhile for the demonstration which wasn’t easy with young kids. But it was so worth it. We were able to choose the colors for her to paint and the style of painting. Hailee and I had her paint with a sponge brush and Brock had her do a ‘kiss’ painting with her trunk. My painting is in my office at work and reminds me of the trip and the elephants every time I see it.