Saturday, May 10, 2008

Remembering Motherhood.

REMEMBER how I told you my brother had taken on foster parenting his granddaughter? And how I was going to ask him if he needed a baby-sitter? Well guess what? He needed a baby-sitter. This afternoon I watched her for about three hours while he drove to the airport and picked up his wife.
The whole day started off with a big laugh for me: "There are diapers involved, right?" I asked him when he arrived.
"Yeah", he said, as he laid out a McDonald's kid's meal on our kitchen table. He looked at me. "This is honestly the first fast food she's had since she came to live with us."
I believed him.
Then he mentioned the diaper changing again and told me she was a pretty good eater and had consumed a whole can of chili by herself just before they came over.
"What??!!" I said. "A whole can of chili?"
A picture formed in my mind, but then I saw the grin pulling at the corners of his mouth.
"A whole can of chili ... right!" I said, laughing loudly. Whew!
He left the two of us together and took off for the airport. I had pretty much babyproofed the house and closed the doors to rooms that would have taken me months to go through. However, I found myself checking on her whereabouts every few minutes.
As I cooked in the kitchen she opened all the drawers and found measuring cups, books and dominoes to play with. Her hair felt so silky and her chubby cheeks were so sweet that I wondered how it was possible I had forgotten how lovely a child feels and how irresistible it is to pick them up and hug them.
She cried for "Papa" a couple of times and I showed her his picture on my cell phone and for a while we watched out the window for him. Then we laid together on the kitchen floor, her bare feet to my bare feet, and we looked out the skylight window overhead and called the birds to come fly over. "Here birdie, birdie, birdie." We saw three of them.
As I again stood at the kitchen counter, chopping vegetables, she sat on the floor to eat a cracker and put her back up square against my legs, reclining against me.
I don't think I've had such a joyful, heartwarming feeling in a long time. It was something remembered - a memory from long ago - and something real and solid all at the same time. I want to go back now and do motherhood all over again. Why can't we know the worth of what we're doing while we're doing it?
I wish I had savored mothering more. That's my wish for today. (Don't you love her chubby little hands in the Easter photo above?) Happy Mother's Day tomorrow and every day.

I tried Dawn Seller's technique again and this time it came out better. I let everything dry thoroughly. I think that was my problem before.
I painted the photocopied image with acrylic paint and put it face down, rubbed it to make sure it adhered and LET IT DRY!
Next day I soaked it with a wet paper towel (left) and then began rubbing away the paper from the back of the image.
This is how the "Man in the Turban" turned out. I think I'll add other images too. Since it's on a long scrap of paper (just a test piece) I don't know what I'll do with it. It was a fun technique, however. Can't wait to see where it goes.
This Saturday night, May 17, is Creative Circle and we're going to do "inchies." I haven't done them before, but a 1 inch x 1 inch square of artwork sounds like it will be challenging - femminismo


Candace said...

Elizabeth, the Man in the Turban is awesome. I really like how that blue pops out at us, drawing our eye to the serene profile. A really attractive piece of work. Good luck with those inchies! (I love those flowers you have up!)


bridgette said...

wonderful post. my little one is 16 months old now and I know that these times will fly by. They already have! So i try to savor the time, the sweet soft cheeks, and silky hair. But i also cherish the naps and alone time too! :)