I had a couple of paintings accepted into a watercolor show which opened yesterday, and one of them won an award. It was great to be up in Salt Lake, schmoozing with other artist types, see all the paintings, and receive my ribbon and an envelope of cash. (!) But honestly, I have to say that the best part of the night was arriving home and having my 8-year-old come running down the stairs in his baggy sleep shirt, grinning, to give me a big huge hug!
Today my dad and I had planned a painting excursion to these amazing gardens where I have a membership. We'd been planning on it all week, in fact. My two oldest kids are at a youth conference, and the youngest was playing at a friend's house. How often is it that the stars are in alignment and a mother has an afternoon completely free? I was elated. We loaded our paints and sketchbooks into the car and headed toward the freeway entrance.
Suddenly my cellphone rang. "Mom? This is Mr. Cool. We're tired of playing at Max's house, so we're walking back to our house now." (He'd been there 45 minutes.) "Nobody's home, Sweetheart. Grandpa and I are going up to Thanksgiving Point Gardens to paint." "Oh, can we come?" (Then, covering the receiver, "You guys! Do you want to go to Thanksgiving Point? We can go to the Dinosaur Museum!") Soon I had three nine-year-old boys clambering over the art supplies in the back seat.
Long story short, the boys did NOT want to go to the gardens and put up a HUGE fuss the whole way there, begging instead for the dinosaur museum. (Sorry. Bummer.) But once we got inside, they literally had the time of their lives: They rolled down the giant hill on the Grand Allée, ran circles through the maze in the rose garden, played Rocky as they jogged up the steps in the Italian Garden, splashed and sprayed each other in the fountain in the Secret Garden, ran through caves on top of the waterfall. I've never seen three happier boys.
Did we paint? Not a stroke. But we got a million ideas while we were there.
Was there joy? Absolutely! Pure, unabashed, unbridled joy!
I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the world.
--Well, maybe when Max threw up in the car on the way home! :)