For those that don’t know me yet, I started doing a thing I called Mom Days back in 2009. I have a lot of kids. It’s hard to get time with each one individually. So once or twice a year as funds and time allows I do Mom Days. I spend the whole day with one child doing something special with them. It’s generally along a similar theme with them all for that round. This year it’s pick a Southern city to spend the day in. These days let me get to know each of my children a little better and give me a chance to show them how much they mean to me.
You may be thinking, well that’s great, but what does that have to do with art? Well, everything. So often people only focus on the end product, the art piece itself. Maybe every once in a while, people may stop to ponder how the art piece was made. What materials were used? What techniques or skills came into play to arrive at the final result? We may decide we love the art or not. We may come to admire the artist that makes the art we love or develop distaste or even loathing for the person that makes the art we don’t like but keep looking at.
But how often do we take the time to look at the real medium that creates the art? Not the brushes, paint or technology, but the person. It is the little mundane and often surprising things in a person’s life that refuel our creativity. For me, these “Mom Days” are one of those huge refuel moments. I get so much from them. I make so many memories for my child and myself. It is a day that neither of us will ever forget. As we go through those days, we are acutely aware of that. It’s one of the things that make it so beautiful.
We hit these moments of exhaustion, where our feet hurt or its too hot, etc. Maybe something just didn’t go right. You know how life is. Those surprisingly are the best moments. Once when my youngest son was so tired and just wanted to stop and go home, but home was four hours away, we sat down. He wanted to give up. So we sat by the side of a river on a bench. I told him we had all the time in the world to sit there. There was no hurry. He started to cry and I told him it was ok to cry. I held him close. He wanted to go home. I understood. I kind of did too. I explained it was a long drive and the day was still early. It would be time to eat soon. Maybe if we had something to drink and had a snack we would feel a little better. Then we could decide what to do next. If he still wanted to leave we could go. So we walked over to a cart and got a drink and snack. We sat and enjoyed it and watched the water go by. Soon the laughter came. The light changed. The mood shifted. He thanked me. And asked if we could stay. So we did.
Many years before another son of mine had a wonderful day. He said at the end of it as I tucked him in, “I wish every day could be a re-wind day.” I asked him what a re-wind day was. He said, “Today is a re-wind day. It’s a day so good you want to re-wind it over and over again.” And that is the goal of all Mom Days. To make re-wind days. Mom Days are art pieces I create for my children’s memories. And my children are my muses. They ARE my inspiration.