I know I speak for every parent (in the history of parenthood) when I say I was a completely different person before I became a parent. I had different hair. I had a different bedtime. I had energy. I had a sense of humor. I ate different food. I had smaller feet. I could make last minute plans. I enjoyed different activities. I could use whatever (curse) words I wanted when I was speaking. I had different friends. I had friends. The sky was the limit.
Now I have a basement full of relics of the person I used to be. My life is full of limitations. Now I spend my days on damage control. Now, I plan my life weeks in advance. I have now lowered my standards for my appearance. Quite often I just forget to get dressed. I look forward to eating scraps off other people’s plates. Everyone always seems to be talking to me at once and the walls feel like they’re closing in. Now I just want tea and an old newspaper at 8:00 pm.
Now I love being the first person in the house to wake up so I may enjoy the peace of the early morning. Now I have a lot more about life to love. I have more to be proud of than I ever had before. I work hard all day, everyday. I play a lot too. I am more grateful for everything I’ve been given. I embrace challenge and change. Now I have more patience than ever. I have now entered the realm of endless love.
I completed this painting in June, 2020. (Thanks to being a mother of three it has taken me four months to write about it.) I painted it for an old friend from college. We knew each other back when were girls at N.Y.U. That was when beer, being ridiculous, and having too many opinions were our top priorities. Now we are both moms with children of similar ages, we both have mom hair, and mom schedules, but probably both still prioritize beer and having too many opinions. I am so glad we’ve kept in touch. Talking and reconnecting with people who knew me (before I was me) is extremely satisfying. Much like tea and an old newspaper at 8:00 pm.
When Arianna asked me to paint this for her I was thrilled. At the time we were in the middle of the COVID 19 Stay At Home orders and the coincidence really struck me. Here we were (and kind-of still are) in a bubble with our families. We have entered a new way of life and it’s stressful as well as isolating. Then here comes this photograph from Arianna with these joyful cherub faces. No care in the world displayed in the frame. A moment to last an eternity. Somehow, in the midst of all our worry and frustration, we welcome the Saturday mornings when our kids bounce into our bedrooms, far too early. They struggle to climb into our tall beds and snuggle under our warm covers. We want to go back to sleep and cuddle them close. They want to giggle and poke their fingers in our eyes. The joy of life prevails.
There is absolutely no way any of us would change our new life for our old life. It’s tough, but it’s good. It’s worth celebrating everyday. I hope Arianna and her husband use this portrait of their sweet boys to remind themselves each day what a great purpose they have, and what a wonderful job they are doing.
I also have to confess that this portrait helped me to realize my hidden strengths as a painter. I love color and energy and joy; and I have always loved landscapes. There has been the occasional pet portrait during my career, but I have (until now) remained intimidated by portraiture. With this painting of Chase and Luke I emerge the painter of people, animals, and nature!! I am ready, willing, and able to paint whatever inquiries come to my door. And if, by some stroke of coincidence, you have a inquiry for my door please feel free to reach out to me.
I hope each and every one of you, and your families, is doing well. Please stay happy and healthy.We’d all love to hear from you. Please leave me, and all the readers, a comment. Tell us the most simple and joyful detail of your new life.
Love you guys!