Dear Mr. Li,
Thank you for agreeing to teach art to a six-year-old little girl, when you normally refuse to accept kids under ten. Thank you for seeing the talent, however raw it was, in me. Thank you for introducing me to oil pastels and blending and watercolors and color pencils and stenciling.
Thank you for letting me pick out my own colors when I thought the Cheetos-orange flower looked bad. Thank you for sticking up for me when the assistant got mad at my weird way of blending, instead of the way she tried to show me.
Thank you for giving me that small kit of oil and chalk pastels, handing me a piece of paper, and telling me to draw something ‘mei’ on my very first day.
Thank you for patiently translating your Chinese words into stilted English. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say.
Thank you for picking me up and handing me a sweet when the boy knocked me over and spilt paint water on me.
Thank you for calling my daddy when he was at the hospital with my mom.
Thank you for letting me go home with Yi Ling Auntie when you usually don’t let kids go home with their friends.
Thank you for letting me pick out what to paint or color, when all the others got the same paper.
Thank you for helping me when I didn’t know what to do all those times.