For our prompt of “Reindeer” today, I choose to do a simple sketch of one just before taking that historic trip with Santa. As Christmas gets ever closer, I’m sure all of the flying reindeer must be resting up a bit in preparation for the flight. When I was a kid, the reindeer were always my favorite and I would barely be able to sleep the night before Christmas as I listened to hear the sound of hooves on my roof. And as an adult, I have to admit that all of the anticipation feels pretty much the same as it did back then. Or, at least, how I remember it. My mother enjoyed it as well, making little things for me and “testing” out the battery-operated gifts with my dad the night before Christmas. She still tells stories about the two of them giggling and her being worried that they’d wake me up. Little did they know I was already awake. But, my attention was so focused on listening for sounds on the roof that I never once heard what was going on two floors below me. It’s these memories that have woven a blanket of magic that covers me with love each season. My dad is no longer with us, but thinking of him playing with my toys before I received them explains much about how I turned out. And though I never had kids of my own, I never actually grew up either. So, for me, this season is just as magical today as it was back then.

This afternoon, we went with friends to see the new Star Wars movie. The month after I turned six years old, I saw the first movie in this franchise, and then grew up with it during grade school so I was super excited. It didn’t disappoint me at all and was incredibly entertaining with a very satisfying end to everything. Well, things that make studios lots of money never really end, of course. But it was fun to see the conclusion of a story over 40 years later. And best of all, it made all the memories of when I was a kid come flooding back to me. One of the toys my dad simply had to test first all of those year ago was a remote-controlled R2-D2. For anyone who’s not actually familiar with Star Wars, this is a little droid, or robot, that looks like a white capsule with two legs on the side and a metallic domed head. After my dad tested it, they couldn’t figure out how to get it back into the box, so they just stuck a bow on it and left it sitting under the tree. When I came downstairs that morning and saw that little droid glistening under the lights of the tree, I’m pretty sure I squealed loudly before rushing over to it.

These and so many more moments are what I remember about Christmas as a kid. And they’re the same moments that Philippe and I recapture as adults. Sure, there’s foie gras and wine these days, but everything surrounding that hasn’t changed much in all of these years. Certainly the best secret to staying young is to simply avoiding growing up in the first place. And the phrase “young and heart” doesn’t quite describe the feeling accurately enough for me. This implies that my youthful side is now just a memory I love to remember instead of something real and present that’s happening to me each and every day. My heart isn’t just young, my mind, my body and my soul are all transported back to a time when hope made anything possible. I still believe in that magic. I believe that the future holds wonderful things and that I can DO anything I set my mind to DO! And I believe that everyone else can DO the same as well! And though I haven’t done all of these things quite yet, I know in my heart that I will one day. I’m still just waiting to fly.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
 Reindeer Waiting To Fly Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Detail

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19 thoughts on “Waiting To Fly

  1. Forty years! Incredible that the Star Wars franchise is still going so strong. It brings back lots of memories, because I was in England when the first movie came out, and seeing it was one of the many things I fervently looked forward to (I was SO homesick) doing once I got home.

    1. Yeah, it’s been so many years! 42 years and still going. I’m only 6 year older so I hope that will be said about me for many years to come! hehe 😉 And so fun that it was waiting for you back at home when you returned!

  2. This is great Charlie. I too use to listen for the hoofs on the roof and the bells on the sleigh. Best was if there was a fresh coating of snow and I would sit by my window and watch it glistening like diamonds under the streetlight. Simpler times and good memories!

  3. I was in college when it first came out. It was a summer block buster because I remember sitting in our small town movie theater being entranced by the story and the music. I wish I had been a bit younger because I think I would have been more of a fangirl than I am. For me, it was all about Jaws when I was 15 years old. I still love it and watch it whenever I get sick.

  4. Yay for reindeer! I remember listening out for jingle bells, and sitting up, looking out of the window in hope of spotting something. While I don’t really do that anymore – I mean, he knows when I’m awake and he won’t come if I rumble him! – I do still enjoy the sprinkling of wonder in the air on Christmas Eve night. In fact, that might be my favourite part of the entire holiday!

  5. So many childhood memories come forward this time of year. Your reindeer is a handsome creature, festively dressed for the occasion. I wasn’t much interested in the Santa story but I loved the reindeer and getting to see live ones every once in a while was a special moment. As for Star Wars – the first films were full of hope and courage. It will be wonderful if the newest and last generates that kind of response.

  6. So beautiful!!!! You know if we listen we can hear Santa coming!!! I have not yet seen the last Star wars movie. Sigh… it seems sorta sad to see it go yet better then it lingering to silliness like lots of the 80’s horror movies did lol. But I watched them all too and enjoyed them lol. 🙂

  7. Charlie says, “My heart isn’t just young, my mind, my body and my soul are all transported back to a time when hope made anything possible. I still believe in that magic. ”

    You make magic, Charlie and you make us all believe in it.

    Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones…
    and a special cyber hug for you and Philippe and Phineas.

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