At play in the fields of my truth

June 22, 2005
my coat of many colors

Okay, before we get started, let’s address the cleavage in this picture. Duck took this picture of me yesterday and I really love it. For those of you who are offended, get over it. I HAVE BREASTS! Surprise. If this sparks up any of you, hush up about it, I don’t want to hear it, and you’re welcome.

Yesterday Velma and Mark came to visit. Can I just tell you that it was kind of like Christmas, a Rainbow Gathering, a good therapy session, and art camp all rolled into one? SUPER FUN. BTW, if you read this, Mark, good on you for attempting to muddle through Mid-MO’s first day of summer and not hang yourself. If it gets too bad, you can borrow our pump to empty out your lungs.

Earlier in the day, the boys and I had painted some little wooden thingies and I had gotten a brush stroke of this gorgeous metallic purple paint on my shoulder. While sitting outside under one of our mulberry trees talking to Velma, it became undeniably clear that I had to have my arms painted. I couldn’t find a single reason for this – but it was calling me. So, I thought about it as I had deep and wonderful conversations with Velma, while Mark played with the boys and occasionally brought us mulberries from the other tree to eat. Yep, had to be painted, so I asked Velma to do it. But, being the wise woman that she is, Velma told me that Mark should be the one to do it. AH yes, indeed. He is, after all, the cat responsible for the Swiffer logo (in case his rant isn’t enough for you, you can see his work stuff here.)

So, with paints in hand and Johnny Cash blaring, Mark set off to work on my arm and my boys started painting my legs. Colors swirled and my skin tingled and the reason for all of this became VERY clear. I needed to paint away the false skin I’d been wearing for so long. The paint helped me to see the real colors inside. Keep reading – I’m going somewhere with this, I swear.

My children don’t know my truths and it’s because I foolishly have hidden it from them. Have I mentioned before that I have completely ruined my children? No one else seems to agree with me, but yep, I feel as though I’ve fucked them up for all time. No need to save for a college fund, I believe the money would be better spent on either therapy or bail. Okay, back to the subject at hand.

For some reason, I’ve been under some delusion that I had to be conservative and restrictive to be a good parent. For those of you who know me, stop laughing before you piss yourselves. Truth is that I’ve had these insane ideas of what I should and should not allow, what I should and should not enforce, what is and what is not important. I have never been very good at following this crap up, so I’ve been highly ineffective, which pisses me off, which makes me a bitch, which makes me go off on my kids, and thus, I have screwed them up.

HERE’S THE TRUTH – I can and should just raise them with my own ideas. For example:

At night, after the kids go to bed, I treat myself to something sinful – CANDY – about one week a month. This morning, my kids found my stash before Brian and I woke up. Any other day, I would have flipped out – today, I told them to enjoy it! Honestly, who cares if my kids eat candy for breakfast today? As long as they don’t do it every day, what’s the big deal?

I don’t have to make sure that they make their beds, that they don’t watch endless episodes of The King of the Hill, that they eat a fruit, grain, and vegetable with EVERY meal. They don’t have to match. They don’t have to wear a shirt if they don’t want to. Their shoes don’t have to be on the correct feet. Occasionally, my bras DO make wonderful super-hero helmets. It’s OKAY if they fight. It’s OKAY if they don’t want to go to the library today (although, honestly, I’ve never seen a day where my kids weren’t crawling all over me to take them to the library.) It’s OKAY if they want to sit and look at floor when the big show is in the sky. Maybe their show is neater.

And it’s okay to paint your skin instead of the wooden thingies.

My truth: motherhood can be fun. Motherhood does not have to be as hard as I’ve made it on myself. NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING has to be done exactly this second in exactly this way for exactly this reason. In fact, NOTHING has to be done at all. As long as we’re breathing and moving, we’re doing enough. Everything will get done. Maybe not the way that I envision, but who’s to say that I’m right?

Thanks, Velma and Mark. The paint washed off, but the art remains.

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