“Mommy, who’s Roy G. Biv?” my five-year-old daughter Colleen asked holding up a lesson folder I’d just finished preparing.
“Roy G. Biv isn’t a person, honey; it’s an acronym” I replied, clearly getting ahead of myself judging by the confused look on Colleen’s face.
“What’s a acrimin?” she asked, her freckled face all scrunched up.
I couldn’t help laughing at her mispronunciation. “Acronym, pumpkin. It’s an abbreviation formed from the first letters of a group of words and pronounced as one word.” I explained, forgetting I wasn’t teaching my 4th grade class.
Colleen cocked her head, looked at me quizzically and uttered “Huh?”
Okay, I think I needed to try a different approach.
“You know how sometimes a rainbow appears in the sky when the sun comes out after the rain?”
Colleen nodded enthusiastically, her ginger pigtails swaying from side to side.
“Well, if you take the first letter of each color of the rainbow you get Roy G. Biv. Look, I’ll show you” and I opened the folder for her to see:
Colleen’s gleaming eyes opened wide and she exclaimed “Oh, yeah! I get it! It’s like LOL, right?”
“Um, close enough” I agreed. “Why don’t you get your big box of crayons and you can draw pictures of rainbows?”
Colleen was meticulous about her crayons, each one going back in its proper place after being used. One by one she picked out the seven colors of the rainbow and began drawing while I finished grading assignments.
When she was done, Colleen ran to show me her picture; it was both amazing and mystifying at the same time. She had drawn a little girl, obviously herself, with a giant bubble coming from her mouth, a beautiful glittery rainbow and a liberal smattering of the ROY G. BIV acronym inside the bubble.
“This is great, honey!” I declared. “Please tell me all about it.”
Colleen was happy to oblige.
“Sure, mommy!” she squealed and jumped onto my lap. “You see this girl down here? Well, that’s me. My hair is red and my freckles are orange! Up here is the yellow sun and down here is the green grass. Blue is for my eyes, all the letters inside the bubble are the color indigo and right here by my feet are violets. Do you like it?” Colleen looked up at me with those crystal blue eyes searching my face for approval.
“Pumpkin, this is the most beautiful picture I’ve ever seen” and I meant it with all my heart.
“Yay! I’m so happy you like it. I made it for you!” She handed me the drawing and I hugged her ever so tightly.
“I think a picture this wonderful should have a name” I suggested. “Do you have any ideas?”
“I already named it, Mommy.” And turning the drawing over I saw the title that truly touched my heart: “The Secret Language of Color”.