04 February 2005

child of many colors

Everyday I drive by St. Sebastian's Church, which also runs a parochial school. Sometimes I will see the kids out playing in the church yard. I empathize with the solitary children walking the perimeter while others engage in kickball or idle gossip.

Large groups of children in their school uniforms tend to endear me to them for some reason; they are somehow cute in their conformity. (Although uniformed Japanese schoolkids far surpass American kids in cuteness. I think because many wear matching berets. :)

Today, the kids were outside, running around in the snow. At first I thought, jeez, it's 18 degrees out; some parent is gonna put up a bitch that his/her child was exposed ot the elements. Then I noticed the profusion of color, juxtaposed with the white snow.

Of course, most wore gender-coded colors, but still the vibrancy contrasts with adults' staid wardrobes. The practicality ostensibly requisite of growing up applies to clothing, too. It's fine—in many ways—that we leave behind the playthings of our youth. Sometimes they become irrelevant or we've transitioned onto different "playthings".

This year instead of opting for a celery green winter coat, I purchased a more rational grey one. Indeed, most adults seem to stick with neutral colors when choosing winter jackets.

While coat colors are not really a cause for concern, it's a microcasm of adult thinking versus child thinking. When at age five I picked out a [generic] Cabbage Patch doll [at Marc's] I wanted the one with pink hair. My mother steered me toward the more practical auburn-haired one.

I can get kinda feisty when it comes to colors of cars. Outside the parking lot is a sea of beige and gray. BORING. When asked what color car he/she would like to have, what child says beige?! It's not like a coat, which has to match stuff. Car colors should be fun.

I think the child/adult color issue factors into the idea that our creativity and imagination become progressively stifled as we grow older.

I'm sure if I had gotten the pink-haired doll, I would be infinitely more creative now. :P

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