You have to choose what kind of parent you want to be, unless you really don’t care what kind of parent you will be. (But I think any reasonable person cares.)
This is what I was telling my pregnant friend on Sunday. I told her how I always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mother who’s rarely home, and for the most part I’ve done a good job of filling our days with playdates, parks, and museums. Suddenly I realized that we had not done as much painting as I had always hoped I would do with my children. I wanted to be a Mum who’d spontaneously say, “let’s paint today!”
Within 24 hours I had four other startling reminders that we needed to paint. (By we, of course, I mean they, because facilitating their painting takes all my time. But I do want to paint as well, another time, when they’re older.)
So after some music with friends (complete with cello lessons for all!) and a trip to the park on this most beautiful of days, we brought home Red’s betrothed for an afternoon of painting.
And paint we did. (And even for a moment they asked me to play the piano for their background music.) Afterwards we looked at images online of “scribble scrabble” paintings (Jackson Pollock,) even comparing one of them, Ocean Greyness, with Van Gogh’s Starry Night. We compared Van Gogh’s brush strokes with those of Monet, particularly Water Lily Pool since it hangs in my doorway, which led into a discussion of Seurat’s pointilism. Changing the look of the brushstrokes completely I showed them Emily Carr, followed by Ted Harrison. We’ve already made plans to do some Harrison-style art next week, when she returns from spring break with her family.
My Dad will be here tomorrow, and my plan for yesterday was to clean. I chose instead to be the mother I want to be. I chose instead to fill my soul.