Summer’s here, officially, today is the second day since my kids have been out of school. I’ve been forced to set my art aside and spend some quality time with them. So far we have played dance dance on the xbox, did some lame exercise because it was too hot out then ate freezies. One trip to the dirt bike track in the late afternoon then the grocery store to stock up on frozen yogurt (except ice cream was on sale).
Now it’s day two and I was woken up to sweaty kids clad in only their underwear trying to tickle me. Then a full movie day (because it rained). After too much icecream and chocolate milk, freezie packages stuck to the floor and a few sticky faced kisses now I am getting my hair done by my youngest daughter. She has a habit of banging the brush on my head then tearing it through bringing tears to my eyes. But hey, she’s stopped talking and folks, in the 48 hours since school let out for summer I don’t think this child has stopped talking once.
My youngest daughter loves all things art. If I turn my back for too long she will scam my paintbrushes, pencils, markers, and paper, anything she can get her little fingers on. One day I was really busy with commissions and packaging, I left my paints out on the table to be put away later. She decided to help herself and took a little piece of canvas I had laying there and made a painting. A six-year-old painting can be quite a mess as I am sure you can imagine. She had paint on the floor, the table, the tea towel from the kitchen (in her misguided attempt to clean it all up) the paintbrushes tossed aside, paint tubes knocked over and dripping. So basically a complete disaster. When I came across this I just about lost my mind, as I went to call her down from her room to ask her what she was thinking getting into my stuff, (there have been enough warnings over the years) I saw a white envelope sitting on my desk. Inside the envelope I found this painting.
I always worry about my kids corrupting other children when they play. That sounds like an awful thing to say about your own kids but if you spent a day in this house you would understand. Their dad has no edit button. Some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth, while hilarious really shouldn’t be said in front of a kid. Especially our kids, who are like little sponges, and sadly it’s most often the bad words and inappropriate stuff that catches their attention.
He’s the kind of dad who thinks it’s funny to tell the kids in public, at say our local grocery store, “stop touching that or I’ll rip your arm off and beat you with the bloody stump” The kids will giggle of course but inevitably there will be some stranger, mouth gaping, shaking her head and then setting her wrinkled mouth into a grim line of disapproval.
So when my kids are playing with the neighbors I listen with dread to their idle chit chat, hoping to catch them before they repeat something that they thought was funny but when filtered though a little ones lips sounds, well, just awful.
One of these play days my youngest son was playing super heroes with the neighbor, she’s a cute kid, a year older then my son. They have known each other since they were babies. I was on my porch, spying on them, listening in, when I hear him ask her, “I’ll be Spiderman what are you going to be?” Well she blurts out, fairly loudly I might add, “I’ll be Super Pussy.” OMG I spit my drink out. My son just looked at her, dead stare, shrugged his little shoulders and started running across the lawn none the wiser.
Last night I couldn’t sleep. I lay there staring at the ceiling, trying to quiet my mind and relax my muscles. I even tried counting sheep. That didn’t help. I started making a mental inventory of everything I had to do the next day. Do you ever do this? Then come the next day you can’t remember what you were thinking of. I always tell myself I should keep a pen and paper beside my bed for these nights.
As I lay there, trying desperately to ignore the itchy bug bite on the bottom of my foot, my mind starts constructing a blog post, and then envisioning a new abstract painting. They were both brilliant, in my mind anyway, in the dead of night with no distractions aside from my itchy foot. But come morning I couldn’t remember a single detail of what I thought was too good to forget.
So I stare at my blank word press sheet, straining to recall what I had thought I wanted to say today and all I can come up with is, last night I couldn’t sleep, so I stared at the ceiling and tried to ignore the bug bite on the bottom of my foot.