Outside the Richardson’s home in Arlington, Texas, these days, a cyclist will jump off his bike and grab his cell. A message written on the family fence in bright chalk paint, “Love One Another,” has become the background for a selfie and a conversation starter. Written by a sister and brother who remind us to live up to our ideals, even in challenging times.
Nolie Richardson, 8, describes how it started as a class project.
“We wanted to do something for school, so we did science and art,” she said. “The science was we grated chalk with a cheese grater, and then we mixed it with a little bit of water. And then we made paint. And we painted our fence.”
That became a message of love.
“Since everyone is rushing around and trying to get toilet paper and food, we wanted to remind them to love one another…from six feet apart,” said Reid Richardson, 6.
Reid is the ham, the one whose ideas bubble up so quickly he can’t keep quiet for long. With eyes as large as saucers, he’s expressive and confident.
The importance of the six-foot distance comes up a lot in conversations with Reid and represents the care you take to protect others in the age of COVID-19. He trusts in it. It’s the reason why he won’t see his best friend right now, even though he really wants to.
Nolie is the more cautious one and careful with her words. She wears cat ears and, when Reid interrupts, she gently nudges him. One of her jobs as an older sister is to keep him in line. In a kindly way.
They’re making sense of their world right now the best they can.
So now people stop by on their walks or on their bike rides to say they love the artwork and heard about it on the news. They say the kids are making a difference.
This is exactly what they had hoped, and if they can only persuade their dad, they say they’ll repaint their message on the fence using real paint.
“We wanted to spread joy,” said Nolie. “Because right now it’s a good time for it.”