Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waskesiu River

Waskesiu River
I did this painting the other day at the studio thinking it could be a companion piece to the last painting I posted. It is also 7x7 and acrylic on canvas. It is done from a photo of the Waskesiu River that I took this summer. In the end the painting wasn't about the clouds, but about the mood and colours of blue which hopefully relate to "View From A Clearing". Once this was completed and I stepped back I almost had the sense that it could have been an evening scene- dusk at the river under the stars. I enjoyed painting it and have two more 7x7 sky paintings to post in the coming days. They are both of a lighter nature than these last two.

 I was planning to make a post last night when the kids went to bed, but thank goodness I didn't because who knows what I would have ended up writing! Yes, it was one of those nights. Seriously! And it was blueberries that brought me to my knees! Here is the story:

My husband was out for the millionth time in the last month and there I was with my sweet boys once again doing the "routine". I picked them up from school, let them play at the playground, headed home, got them a drink and snack, did some reading with them, let them play, made supper, heard about how they didn't like what I cooked, listened to complaining all through supper, excused them from the table, cleaned up the dishes, (sigh), let them play on the computer while I took the opportunity for some down time. What did I do with my down time? I mopped the floors and cleaned a toilet! Yes, I am lame. And let's just talk about this cleaning the toilet business for a minute. I grew up with two sisters so I was not privy beforehand to the vital information that when you live with 3 boys cleaning the toilet actually involves more than just that. It, in fact, also involves cleaning the walls and floor surrounding the toilet! And when I went to tackle the job I glanced at the lid, which was down, and said "Hey, guys, is this pee on the lid?" Yup, turns out it was! My seven year old had to go so badly he just started going before he realized the lid was not up. Sigh... and sigh again.

At supper time I had decided to pull out some frozen blueberries for the kids to have with a little ice cream as an evening snack. I was quite proud of myself planning ahead and thinking it would be a real yummy treat for them. I'm such a good mom, I thought. They will really like this and gobble it right up. Well when I called them to the table just before jammie time I was met with sounds of disgust and horror. How could I not have known they would have wanted their ice cream in a separate bowl as opposed to right in with their blueberries. It looked so gross. They just wanted ice cream and how come it was so small? And where were the sprinkles? So I did what any burned out mom would do... burst into tears! Ahhhhh, the sweet release of pent up emotions! And just as I was beating myself up (internally) for raising such inconsiderate little creatures, they both rushed to my side with concern wondering why I was crying (they really didn't know). They rubbed my back, hugged me gently, stroked my hair, kissed me so so softly on the cheek and said such calming words like "It will be okay mommy" and "take a deep breath... in... and out" and "get mommy a blanket".

As I sit and write about it today, more removed from the situation, I am realizing that their earlier rudeness was not taught to them by me... really it was their own immaturity talking and it happened at the end of the day when coping skills are stretched thin (theirs and mine). After all they are still pretty little. But what has hit home is that in this situation they actually did show me what they have learned from me. Empathy, compassion, concern for another. I might mess up blueberries and ice cream, but it turns out, I am still a good mom.


Unknown said...

Aaah.... a GREAT mom and a talented artist to boot. Your sons' sweetness is a reflection of you.

Anonymous said...

hi Nicky, lovely handling of blues again and reflections... and the story brought back sweet memories and nightmares. i guess we all go through these experiences to grow... r.

Tina said...

Thank you for sharing this story! I've had almost the exact same experience with my son who is now 14. It's difficult being a Mom. Sounds like you're a wonderful one. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Nicki, this is a lovely painting, and you are right, it could be evening, it has that feel. I love all the blues and the tiny bursts of orange.
Yes, I raised two boys and know all about cleaning toilets. It's never ending. But mine are big men now and can take care of themselves....and they have thanked me several times for teaching them good manners. Being a mom is a tough job, but so rewarding!

Tammy Hext said...

Hi Nicki - awesome painting. Thank you for sharing that story - next time I am cleaning the toilet, walls and floors I will not feel so alone. They do seem to manage to get it everywhere (and my suspician is it is never all by accident like my son tells me) LOL.

Nicki said...

Hi Sheila,
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I am very excited about your fundraising project and I hope it is a huge success. Those animals you are painting have so much character!

Hi Rahina,
Thanks for your comments... I have really enjoyed painting these deep blues. I have another large abstract reflection to post soon that is filled with these colours.

I chuckled at your words and it is true, these experiences with our kids do help us grow, even if we don't realize it at the time. I've always thought it would be fun to write a little book about some of my experiences raising two boys... even if it were just for our family. I've always thought the title would be "My Life With Boys", but maybe I should revise it to be "My Life With Boys: Sweet Memories and Nightmares". Ah-hahahaha! :)

Hi Tina,
Thanks for coming by to look at my blog. You are a beautiful photographer! I'm sure most moms have a few stories like this in their back pocket!

Deborah, wow... you don't look like your kids could be grown men! Yes, motherhood is very rewarding, but a challenge at the same time.
And thanks, I always like those complementary hits of colour.

Hi Tammy, yes, us moms have to stick together and share our stories so we don't get feeling like a)we are alone and b)something is wrong with our kids! Hee hee! I'm glad you liked this painting.

Take care everyone and thanks for taking the time to comment.

Barbara Muir said...

I love this post Nicki. The endless search for what it means to be a good Mom. What sweet, if absolutely normal boys, and you're right their tenderness does show that you're a good Mom.

Luckily you're also an amazing painter. This is lovely.

Take care,


Nicki said...

Thank you Barbara, it really is an endless search. I know some days I am not the mom I want to be, but luckily I get to wake up and try again the next day.


Chuck Dilmore said...

i absolutely ADORE this!

beautiful work, Nicki!

Nicki said...

Hi Chuck,

Why, thank you kind sir! Happy to hear from you again.


loriann signori said...

Hang in there Nicki and yes this is a beautiful painting. Welcome to blogger!

Nicki said...

Hi Loriann,
Thank you for stopping by to have a look at my blog. I really appreciate it. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful paintings/ pastels on your blog.
Take care,