Painted Butterflies / Perla Maria Francis Martinez

One bright May morning Sophia was sitting out on the freshly cut lawn with her young daughter Page. Alex, her husband came around the corner with the weekly paper. “They lifted the mandate on masks,” he said with a smile “good timing, the expo is opening tomorrow. I didn’t think it would be much fun for Page if they didn’t have face paint. Right sweetheart?” He sat down next to Page who perked up when she heard that. “Face paint! I love face paint!” She jumped around like she was just given the best news ever. Alex and Sophia laughed and smiled at each other. Page was only 5 so she had no experience with expos or face paint. She had seen photos of her mother with face paint once, a year ago in an album, but they didn’t have any last year because of covid, she was obsessed with the thought of it and asked every month if they were going to go. 

The next morning, she dragged her parents out of bed and asked them to help her pick out something to wear that day. They buckled Page into her car seat and off they went. They drove in and were greeted by a man in a reflective vest who told them where to park. When they got out of the car Page was in awe of all the things around them. But more so of the large ice cream truck that stood before them. They all walked up and had some ice cream, there were many, many flavor options to choose from but at last, they had chosen. Alex had rum raisin, Sophia had cherry, and Page had chocolate. There was not much outside other than food trucks, so they entered the large building. At first, it was a mass of art. paintings, clay sculptures, and much more, all so pretty in their own little way. Still dazed by their entry, Page stared up at these beautiful works of art. People swarmed the walls looking at them. As they exited the maze they were hit with the sweet smell of baked goods. “Cupcakes!” Page let out just as she saw them. “Ya, they have a contest to see who has the best, a lot of them come from out of town just to compete.” They looked around for some time as Page pointed out all the cool decorated ones she liked. “Look, that one has flowers! and that one has two little pigs on it.” The couple smiled and were so happy to see her having so much fun, even if it meant they were being pulled around about every were. Finally, after an hour of looking at art and cupcakes Page sat down on a bench by some windows with her parents, Sophia was scanning the area when she noticed a table her daughter had not spotted yet. She tapped her on the shoulder and pointed it out. As soon as she spotted it, she ran to the spot with her parents close behind. “i forgot about the face painting,” she said. Thanks mama for showing me.” Page sat down on the chair as the lady showed her a booklet of things she does. As soon as Page picked, she got down to work painting. When it was all over, they thanked the lady and they walked out hand in hand with little Page smiling with a blue butterfly painted on her cheek.