Let me preface this post by stating that my kids and I have spent the bulk of our summer driving to doctor's appointments, with a little bit of swimming mixed in.
We have not been to the zoo, the beach, or the movies. There's been no mini-golfing. We haven't even gone to the really fun park.
I'm off my game, okay? It's this funky carpet house. Last Thursday Silas spilled yogurt on the kitchen carpet at breakfast, Calvin spilled milk on it at lunch. We fled town limits on Friday.
It's cluttery here, and very, very weird. There are boxes to be packed, along with boxes that were never unpacked. It makes for an odd scenario, and one that I'm eager to avoid.
So I'm no Mom-of-the-Summer here. We didn't bother making a Summer Fun list because I can't even find the popsicle molds. We all share one beach towel at the pool. I make the kids tear their ice pops open with their teeth.
(That last one is a lie, but I'm just one tiny step away, people.)
Jess and Nora and hightailed it to DeFries Garden in New Paris.
Jess supplied real, live easels. What could possibly be more enticing?
The kids set to work.
The pond drew them all in, which pained me a bit, in light of all the flowers. I tried to "nudge" them toward the lush, layered, riotously colored flower gardens.
I totally peer pressured my kids to make a certain kind of art.
What? That's bad?
Don't worry, it didn't work.
They moved around a little, pinning down the angles and the light.
You might say that bravery finds a child on a playground or a football field. Maybe even in that first teetery walk across a lunchroom, tray in hand.
I'm saying bravery finds her in a muddy palette of RoseArt paints. They gather up the guts to do it imperfectly. They risk being different or wrong. They dare to make permanent record of the collision of nature/mind/soul.
A pair of waterlilies stands straighter for their portrait, plucked from a sea of look-alikes.
They render an image and it all comes alive.
Next time, I'm bringing my brush.