I really didn't drink alcohol before I had children. The high cost, especially in comparison to water, seemed ridiculous. I mean, essentially, you're paying a lot of money to make yourself have to pee. Or, at least that's the way it seemed before my children, and especially my son, came along. Now, after two years of this most exhausting and sensory overloading little person, plus six years of his less daredevil but far more emotional sister, whiskey has become medicine to me. MEDICINE I tell you.
Yes, I've gone medieval. Using herbs(I'm growing echinacea and mint and chamomile amongst others) and spirits to treat the aches and pains and gripes of life.
Whiskey, though, is a miracle worker. Oh yes! It eases headaches cause by the girl's whining and crying, the boy's banging and screaming and my dancing back and forth between the two forms of expression myself as I try to steal five minutes during the day that isn't taken up by reprimanding, refereeing, cleaning, rescuing or cooking. It is a sleep aid on the nights when my body and brain cling too needfully to the silence that can only be luxuriously enjoyed after the duo have gone to bed. AND, it is anti-anxiety happy pill on the days when I think that I simply cannot bear to pull one more object out of a nose, pull the vacuum out for the 10th time, pull the 2 year old from the top of the outside edge of the staircase a ninth time
Before I had children, I judgmentally believed that parents who drank even the smallest amounts of alcohol must be not only poor parents, but utterly irresponsible. I even felt this way about my friends, people I professed to love.
I SOOOOOO regret those judgements now. I am embarrassed by those judgements now. Boy, was I ever in the dark on the subject.
To all the friends I judged-I apologize. Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart. I had no idea what parenting was like. How could I? I had no idea that living with children, even and especially your own, was like living with tiny, homicidal, maniacal, egomaniac chimpanzees with frighteningly bad hygiene habits, and no regard for personal space, property or privacy. I had no idea how you all were suffering, day in and day out, under the tyrannical rule of these entitled and entirely selfish little dictators! And I am ashamed of my ignorant judgements against you. What a terrible friend I was. I should have been volunteering to take over the ship for a moment and give you a break from the madness instead of whispering behind your back that you had really let yourself go and turned into quite the lush. I've experienced enlightenment. It was thrust upon me unexpectedly during those first sleepless and painful days and weeks of nursing, and continues to be thrust upon me in moments when I least expect it, like the other day when I only wanted to get my son in the car but instead was made to chase him through the neighbor's yard, kicking my shoes off in the process in order to run barefoot because the clunky shoes were slowing me down and he wasn't about to stop until Brooklyn. Or a few blocks over, at any rate.
Can you possibly forgive me, my friends?
If it helps, I am sitting here on the couch in intense pain with what I fear might be a broken toe thanks to the two year old. I'm waiting here because The Husband has been driving buses for the National Guard all weekend and isn't home from Des Moines yet to give me any sort of assistance in determining the damage done.
Not only did I possibly break the thing, but immediately following the incident, the boy was chasing and hitting the girl with a long heavy ShopVac attachment(the kind with the wide head on it), which I snatched from him as he ran by me then promptly dropped on said possibly broken toe! *sigh*
Is it bed time yet?!?!
Since I am already sitting here, I think I'll try to take my mind off of the pain radiating through my toe and foot by confessing that I've been really hard at work the past year preparing to hopefully fulfill a dream.
This is a photo from last night.
This is how I spend many nights and stolen moments through the day.
If you know me at all then you know that painting is nothing new, so where's the confession?
I always feel a little, ok a LOT of anxiety about speaking(or typing, as it were) dreams out into the world, because once you admit them to somebody, you really become a candidate for failure. If nobody knows your dreams, nobody knows you are a failure, right? But, maybe if there were more of us willing to put the things out there, maybe more of us would be willing to try to pursue our dreams, and if more of us were willing to be honest about the journey, and how it does not define you or determine your worth or the value of your life, then maybe less of us would fear the fails. Because, fearing the fails cripples people, and prevents them from having the positive impacts on the world that they are capable of.
Or maybe not. I don't know. I'm no genius. But I'm willing to try. To follow my dreams, that is. The genius ship has lonnnnnng since sailed!
CONFESSION: In my closet(and desk, and bookshelf and studio) are dozens of manuscripts. There are novel starts and volumes of poetry and, most dear of all to me, children's stories. I've been sitting on some of these children's stories for over a decade(my gosh, I am ANCIENT!), never attempting to publish them because I always felt like I did not want them to be illustrated by someone else. They are mine, my babies, my little movies in my head and I have always felt like I am the only person who can portray them accurately.
Only, I couldn't. I just couldn't settle on an illustration style that I felt really suited my words.
This has been frustrating and a bit demoralizing. As a person who considers themselves an artist, I should be able to handle this right? I mean, they are MY stories. How can I be incapable of fleshing them out with pictures from my own head?
I gave up on them for awhile. It is an easy thing to do when you are nursing a baby who sleeps no more than a couple hours at a time, who howls through the night like a wounded banshee.
But as the baby turned into the toddler, and I determined that he would be the last baby, and I realized that there would only be a few more years to stay at home with him before I would have the time, desire and need to occupy myself with a job of some sort, I began to leaf through the faded pages and papers again and think, "Why not?"
So I have immersed myself, as much as possible, in getting back to the basics. I sketch and draw and paint anything and everything as often as I can. And, I'm going back to school, as ridiculous as it feels at this age to be doing so. I'm finishing up my AA this year in hopes of transferring to a college with a really good art program next year so I can experience the challenges of upper level art instruction and hopefully combine and streamline my various styles into one appealing and creative style that is easily recognized as my own.
If the Lord's willing and the creek don't rise, at any rate.
Here's an example of the results of one of my recent "play" sessions.
Pardon the horrendous photography, please. I just started using a mac and haven't quite got the hang of their photo editing tools nor have I decided on which 3rd party software I'd like to have. Maybe if I spent less time acquiring broken toes, I could make some progress in that arena!
This piece is a combo of my usual black line drawing with watercolors and inks. I like this direction and will continue to play around with this style.
I haven't been spending as much time on illustrations as I should be lately, because I've been doing this
'Tis a snail. Ha.
So there you have it.
I believe in whiskey, I have dreams of writing books for children, and I am covering myself in pounds of yarn during 90 degree heat.
Oh, and I think snails are really cute. I did not know this until this summer, when I really started spending a lot of time in my gardens and seeing the little buggers everywhere.
That being said, I don't want to, like, wake up one morning and find them crawling all over my pillow or anything.
I'm looking at you, little baboons who apparently share my DNA. Now turn your heads so I can pour some of this 2 Gingers into my tea cup and pretend it is only chamomile I'm taking for my pains.