art with children

Bangles, Blackouts and Balance

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Emma had her first day of Toddler Art class on tuesday. It is a nine week class that our local art museum has each season. This is emma’s last year for it, next year she’ll be too old. It is basically toddler dream-land–painting smocks, easels, clay they actually glaze and fire, painting stations, beading, blocks, mirrors, mats, window seats with fluffy pillows. Her teacher, Keeley, is a funky late 40ish woman who wears a spattered and stained painting coat, and has chunky square glasses. She was so excited to go this year that she woke up squealing, washed her face (something she copied from this great book by Charlotte Zolotow and Garth Williams), and got herself dressed.  So the paintings are drying, but we came home with a few toddler bangles. Mary came too, and sat in the stroller for the first half, but I spent the second half of the class chasing her around this "dreamland" and fishing plastic beads out of her mouth. I think next time she’llhave a playdate with her aunt. Her turn is coming…Oh, and this was a great painting tool we used in class this week. It made the greatest prints. So check your utensil drawers!

Life has been a series of blackouts these last several days, which is part of the reason for my blogging absence. I have also had a case of feeling like nothing in life is "blog worthy", so I’ve been lurking on other’s blogs, but not much writing here.  But back to blackouts–we had our electrical updated a few days ago–our house was built in the 1890s and the lights were beginning to sizzle, brown down and flicker…not very comforting. So changing out the electric meant no power. Then last night we were hit with big thunderstorms which blacked out power for 24 hours. I sat in the storm, looking out the window with my famliy, and I couldn’t begin to imagine what a hurricane must be like. The wind, the duration. A storm comes quickly, leaves quickly. But I imagine a hurricane to be persistent, constant and obviously, so much more destructive.  At first it was exciting to have no power–camping on the living room floor, candles, knitting by candlelight, listening to all the sounds I miss, that get drowned out by traffic and fans and airconditioners and closed windows. But as night became morning and lunch, and afternoon naps and dinner, and I saw the sagging eyes of my children, who just wanted a nap in a room ironically quieted by the hum of an electric fan.  And as I wanted to turn on my own electric breeze to bring some of the cool into my stuffy house, or flick on the radio for a check of the weather, the blackout began to drag me down. But my thoughts always were taken back to the hurricane and the displaced families and children…missing the comforts and the familiarty of home. I tried to fend off my attitude and grumpiness with thoughts of those less fortunate, but so often my flesh is weak, and my own momentary despair swallows up sympathy and concern and neighborlyness. 
So here I am– lights on, fan blowing, computer powered up, music on, children slumbering in humming rooms, and I regain perspective easily. Someday I will learn to have more grace in the moment.

Img_1008
Emma had her first day of Toddler Art class on tuesday. It is a nine week class that our local art museum has each season. This is emma’s last year for it, next year she’ll be too old. It is basically toddler dream-land–painting smocks, easels, clay they actually glaze and fire, painting stations, beading, blocks, mirrors, mats, window seats with fluffy pillows. Her teacher, Keeley, is a funky late 40ish woman who wears a spattered and stained painting coat, and has chunky square glasses. She was so excited to go this year that she woke up squealing, washed her face (something she copied from this great book by Charlotte Zolotow and Garth Williams), and got herself dressed.  So the paintings are drying, but we came home with a few toddler bangles. Mary came too, and sat in the stroller for the first half, but I spent the second half of the class chasing her around this "dreamland" and fishing plastic beads out of her mouth. I think next time she’llhave a playdate with her aunt. Her turn is coming…Oh, and this was a great painting tool we used in class this week. It made the greatest prints. So check your utensil drawers!

Life has been a series of blackouts these last several days, which is part of the reason for my blogging absence. I have also had a case of feeling like nothing in life is "blog worthy", so I’ve been lurking on other’s blogs, but not much writing here.  But back to blackouts–we had our electrical updated a few days ago–our house was built in the 1890s and the lights were beginning to sizzle, brown down and flicker…not very comforting. So changing out the electric meant no power. Then last night we were hit with big thunderstorms which blacked out power for 24 hours. I sat in the storm, looking out the window with my famliy, and I couldn’t begin to imagine what a hurricane must be like. The wind, the duration. A storm comes quickly, leaves quickly. But I imagine a hurricane to be persistent, constant and obviously, so much more destructive.  At first it was exciting to have no power–camping on the living room floor, candles, knitting by candlelight, listening to all the sounds I miss, that get drowned out by traffic and fans and airconditioners and closed windows. But as night became morning and lunch, and afternoon naps and dinner, and I saw the sagging eyes of my children, who just wanted a nap in a room ironically quieted by the hum of an electric fan.  And as I wanted to turn on my own electric breeze to bring some of the cool into my stuffy house, or flick on the radio for a check of the weather, the blackout began to drag me down. But my thoughts always were taken back to the hurricane and the displaced families and children…missing the comforts and the familiarty of home. I tried to fend off my attitude and grumpiness with thoughts of those less fortunate, but so often my flesh is weak, and my own momentary despair swallows up sympathy and concern and neighborlyness. 
So here I am– lights on, fan blowing, computer powered up, music on, children slumbering in humming rooms, and I regain perspective easily. Someday I will learn to have more grace in the moment.

3 comments on “Bangles, Blackouts and Balance”

  1. First off I love those bangles.2nd I’m sorry you had to have your black out. It is good to have times where you lose something you normally take for granted because it makes you appreciate what you have… I’m learning that constantly right now 🙂 That doesn’t make it any easier though, just a polyanna way to look at it 🙂

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