“Every child is an artist.” – Picasso
I was reminded of this saying yesterday, while watching Pippin draw a portrait of her dad in crayon. “Here is his head… here is his hair… and his eyes, and his nose… and his chin! Look, I drew Baba!”
I looked at her beautiful drawing, which most others would consider a mess of scribbles, and saw the artist within her. And who am I to say that Baba is not actually orange? Who am I to tell her that arms and legs are supposed to come out of a torso? Who am I to interfere with her mind’s image of her dad?
When does a person become a parent?
When their first baby is born?
When they see two lines on a stick?
I think the exact moment is different for every parent, but for many people it happens as soon as they decide to have children.
That’s the problem with infertility. It’s undoubtedly one of the worst feelings in the world to lose a child — but when you’re a parent in your mind for years before ever holding your child in your arms, it’s an unseen, inward grief that I think very few people truly understand.
This post is for every mom who’s ever experience mom guilt. Who among us hasn’t? It starts off sounding completely irrelevant, but please read until the very end; it’ll all make sense.
This is the story of a girl who cried a river and drowned the whole world… wait, sorry, that’s a different story.
This is the story of a girl who set out on a long walk, carrying a bag.
Every time she stumbled, she would add a small stone to her bag. When anyone passed by her, she put a small stone in her bag. Any time she even felt that she could have walked faster, she added a small stone to her bag.
For quite some time, she walked on, carrying her bag of rocks, deftly climbing over or ducking under whatever obstacles came her way, adding stones with every struggle. That is, until she approached a hill. She tried climbing the hill, but it was impossible. The more she tried, the more she stumbled and the faster everyone else seemed to be. Her bag became heavier and heavier… until, finally, she gave up. She sat down at the foot of the hill, and looked back the way she came.
As she looked back, she thought about her bag of rocks and remembered where she had added each demobilizing stone. She remembered that time she tripped on a tree root over there, that time someone passed her a few blocks later… She hated herself for every mistake and for every time she wasn’t as good as the other people she met.
Eid mubarak from our family to yours! I’m taking a short Eid break to spend more time with the family. Posts will be back as usual on Monday.
Do you ever feel like your child is like a tortoise, hiding under its shell? I sometimes feel that way about Pippin. I learned something last weekend that changed that. I saw how a family experience can change completely, if you simply account for each others’ personality types.