I have been putting off this post and I don’t really know why. Well, I kinda do. Here it goes:
One night my husband while playing our forever-game of who-can-come-up-with-the-most-amazing-idea-ever, sort of challenged me to follow through on one of my ideas. I have forever been thinking about how I can make art, craft and making more accessible to kids. Not just kids who have artists parents, not just kids who have a relative who has a disposable income. To me it’s very, very, important that kids know that what they think, they can make. Their brains and hands just need exercise much the same way an athlete’s does. In fact, I believe making is as important to self-confidence as sports. So what was born that night was The Art House. Its my way of putting my foot our into the world and doing what I believe in.
The Art House is formed on the belief that every human makes. Doesn’t matter your talent. We all do. What it hopes to achieve is that while we all make, we should have the confidence to make with our own intent and vision. We should all know that we are worthy of creating. Art House hopes to provide kits that lean towards this open-ended-ness. It doesn’t want kid’s to make a commercially perfect product. We want them to make from their gut and instinct. We as parents, guardians may sometimes question the outcome, but the hope is that we can step back enough and let our kids revel in their creations. When we do this, we create confidence in our kids, confidence that will follow them a lifetime, confidence to let them come up with the next big idea.
It hasn’t been easy as any one who starts a business with kids will tell you. Ours however was also marked with a family emergency that called us away, both physically and emotionally. But the store survived, we survived, and every morning when I wake up I have a home to-do list and a business to-do list running parallel in my brain. My family has stood by and very proudly claimed me as theirs when I grew frustrated, overwhelmed and completely out of my comfort zone. I haven’t been the best, its hard , this juggling while still trying to be a parent 100%. Working from home is a whole ballgame that can’t be explained until you are just thrown in. I have felt guilty, extremely guilty this past month when my kids needed me and I was completely pre-occupied. It would have been nice to get help, to have someone just come and take the kids for a day, or a weekend, but it wasn’t in the cards. What was in the cards though was for me to experience complete and utter forgiveness and love that I have received from my small family. Its started to heal a heart that was broken up so much. To have someone who has so little control over their life , say “It’s okay.” when I screw up, royally. The feeling of guilt I had just didn’t go away when I spent more time making product that make other kids happy, than just being with my own kids. Its gotten better, some pressure is off. Every day still feels like a tightrope walk, but I am beginning to feel like I am getting practice and the practice is paying off.
I have as you noticed, also put Sarcastic Mom on the back burner. I really haven’t even been able to find something funny or even ironic in my life lately. Its just felt desperate and overwhelming, but now life is normalizing.
But here is the hope:
I want to do this. I want to set an example for my kids that you don’t just say things. You do them.
I want to put good into the world, I want to motivate and encourage a whole new generation of kids to be constantly thinking,on their toes and looking.
So that, in short is where I have been. Thank you for the patience.
Its been here for 3 weeks, starting off as a an irritating cough in my husband, traveling as long green nose caterpillars in all of the kids and now finally it has settled in my head and nose. GO AWAY!!! And why do I always have to get it last, once every starts saying “Oh, that old cold.” When everyone else is gearing up. Here am I trying to prop my head up and breathe. Its almost as if my body has told its self its not allowed to get sick till after everyone else is on the mend…Thanks, a lot!
But while every one was sick, I was running double time. I got things lined up for my new project The Art House, which I have about a bazillion ideas for and so many ways to grow it. I also took up a seasonal job at Target, just so that the kids get to go do all the amazing things we have planned for the Holidays. Thats the beauty in this cold, it slowed everyone else down for just a little bit to let me catch up. Hugs and snuggles are easy to keep up with. This is life it doesn’t slow it just runs it self out, my job is to keep up and make sure my family is comfortable while they keep pace.
But right now, its a cup of coffee, sweatpants and off to ECFE, because right now, I need one slow day.
What my government needs right now is a parent. Someone to tell them, ” You know sometimes you just gotta suck it up.” Parents put you in time out. Keep you in check. Hold you to a higher standard than you ever knew you could achieve ( but they know!) The pettiness, shortsightedness, that has been running my country is just crazyness. When there are such extremes how can there ever be compromise. Life is never black and white, so why does this government see things this way? If its not my way it must be evil? So strange
There are times when we need to do things for the bigger good, not just our own individual good. When we do things because although it might not be exactly what we want, but it does work for everyone else. My family has just gone through this, with a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 8 mo old we had lots of ‘the world revolves around me attitudes.” My husband and I are there though as parents to gently and sometimes not so gently remind our children that although it may sound like a good idea to them, its not what works for ALL of us. And thats what a family does, we compromise, share, and sometimes just go along with others ideas. It makes us stronger, introduces us to knew experiences and more so keeps us bonded as a family. My wish for my government is that they could start to see themself as a family instead of crusaders. That they would see the crazy uncle for what he is , the fun cousin, the aunt that always make cookies, the brother that is always there to talk to and the parents that are there to lend a hand. This country has potential, it always has. Its time to start making it as amazing as we hype it up to be. Its time to start believing in each other, to start trusting in the good of human nature ( which may mean we have to lose some losers on the way!) I have hope for my country, but right now, no hope for my government. If this government was my child I would right now be pretending that I didn’t know them and than give them a bloody good telling off the minute their foot walked into our house.
This week we made some good things around the house, first of all is Henry’s new stove/oven. He loves to cook, but we don’t have a kid kitchen, so we improvised. A shoe box painted silver with permant marker burners and stove handles, fits just right in the food basket to put away when done.
Next is our search and find sight words. The first day I made just a bunch of rocks with R written on them to find in the yard, but we had so much fun we decided to put those sight words on them . I hide them in the front flower bed every day before we go to the bus stop. On his way into the house, we find the words he tells me what he found, presto, sight words done before we even walk into the door!
And last but not least, I got a head start on Halloween, and made up these for my nieces and nephews for in their treat bags instead of candy. I pick up unfinished building blocks at garage sale and use Ed Emberly as inspiration!
There are many points in which my art and life as mom collide. Sometimes they are fantastic, some times they are frightening.
I had a frightening one this week. I was sitting on the floor watching my amazing 7mo roll around reaching and grabbing. And I just got sucked in, into the amazingness of the moment. I just watched him with no filter. Just being there with him. While I watched I marveled at his little body, his little fingers, the plumpness, the muscles beneath that, and even deeper the tiny precious bones that support the living body of my baby. I freaked. The cold sterile thought of analyzing his bones and muscles away from the amazing being that he was just terrified me. It stopped me cold. Sometimes the things your artistic self sees, just frightens the hell out of the parent in you. Do you keep looking on in that cold analytic way, gathering as much visual information as possible from the being in front of you? Or do you stop, with draw your inner eye and breathe deep to make the images go away?