Sunday, June 28, 2009

If I didn't write about my kids, I'd be drinking because of them.

Ah, my children. They are so good, so sweet. My oldest daughter reads quietly, my son hums to himself and the dogs find rest in the lazy afternoon. Everything is peaceful as I sit down to write my heart out…

...and then life happens. In a single moment, there is something wet on my foot, a fleck of something lands on my face and I hear an odd humming sound that isn't in my son's tone. I survey the situation; the dog has just developed a rather volatile intolerance to toilet bowl water and threw up on the floor, Magnolia (my oldest) is reading, but picking and flicking boogers across the room as well and Julian (my lil’ manimal) has found other parts of his anatomy to clean using MY vibrating toothbrush. As if on cue, my rock star/ deep sea diver husband calls to tell me he’ll be working a little late; two more months. This is just a slice of my life as a pseudo-single mother. I'd go completely insane if I didn't get my art on.
Creative expression is just as good as therapy. Sometimes even better. It's one of the best coping mechanisms ever. Some quilt, write music, or swing on a trapeze clad in nothing but dirty intentions. Regardless of your choice, it's all good medicine for the soul. And sometimes in our given circumstances, it’s all we have.

Yesterday, Julian decided to clean the kitchen. "Don't worry, Mom, I'm on it." When those words are uttered, we just appreciate them, and avoid asking questions. Jules is two. And in retrospect, I should have known better, but for an instant I was reveling in the moment. But when he came into the living room dripping with mystery goo, I had to check it out. Thanks god for small favors, right? Small favors, my ass. The little manimal had deftly gone into the refrigerator, and individually cracked eighteen eggs into the sink. The majority of mothers out there would have said, “That's alright, my darling, I bought three dozen more at Costco yesterday!” They would have wiped the eggshell off their sweet child's face and rocked them to sleep whispering all the time, "my darling, I love you."

Not this woman. She threw her head back in horror, howling at the fates. Then I cleaned up the floor with my sock, rinsed the rest of the egg down the drain with soap (and cold water mind you, a hint for those unfortunate mommies that go through this as well) and went to write about how hilariously awful and wonderful my children are.

The truth is, my kids keep me creative. As mothers we are forced to improvise our existence to meet the chaos of life. A creative mother sings the scrapes and bruises away, makes sushi pizza as requested and takes their babes on fantastic voyages just before bedtime. They give us vitality and press our imaginations beyond the limits of reality. They help us find art in every breath. Through our own children, we get to become wide-eyed once more, but our age has given us the knowledge of different forms of medium and we can express our children’s sorrow and joy within our own artistry.

There are times when I’m driven to the brink of insanity by the calamitous tendencies of those kiddos. But right before I start pulling my hair out and reaching for the bottle of whiskey, a sense of perspective shakes me, I laugh and grab a camera and go to write about it, and begin to appreciate the gifts my children give me everyday; endless fodder.