For months my mom and I have been promising to find time to paint together in my studio space and a few days ago, we finally made it happen. There are so many things about that sentence that I am grateful for, and even though we find a million excuses for not spending as much time together as we would like, I never take for granted that I can see my mom, let alone spend time creating, talking, and sharing life with her as often as I can.
Growing up my mom and I were far from the "Gilmore Girl's" ideal, and our relationship was often rocky at best, but over the years I have come to appreciate who she is, her story, and the role model she continues to be for me. Even though I was basically a teenage nightmare, she gave me the space and freedom and respect I needed to find my way in the world. We never talked about hair and boys, she never borrowed my clothes. We fought and loved and laughed harder than anyone else I knew. Our relationship was, and is, raw, and rare, and real.
But along with my strong will, fierce compassion, and germaphobia (despite our houses full of pets), one of the traits my mom, well, both of my parents actually, instilled in me is my love of art and creativity. When she wasn't teaching Hands On Art classes at school, making felt banners for soccer teams, sewing Halloween costumes, decorating our home, or helping with homework assignments, my mom was taking my brother and I to ClayBisque to paint ceramic mugs and plates, and proudly displaying them throughout the house.
At a young age, my brother and I knew all of the restaurants in town that provided blank paper placemats that served as our canvases during dinner, and before every big trip, mom took us to the store to pick out a sketchbook and art supplies to bring along. When I would tell people I wanted to be an artist-veterinarian-photo journalist (in that order) when I grew up, my parents never batted an eye. Creativity was just as much as part of my life as the next thing. To this day, we can't send or receive a greeting card to one another without filling it with more doodles than words; all of those blank spaces just begging to be covered in ink. Come to think of it, the Lowe family would probably kill it in Pictionary, but I digress.
Spending a few hours painting with my mom, making messes, drinking mimosas, and listening to music was exactly what my soul needed this week. Of course, we are planning to make an actual habit of it, but for today, I am thankful for the present, and the gift of our afternoon together.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you.