There’s green acrylic paint on the wooden chairs in our dining room.

It’s from the children who are no longer children.

On Sunday, I painted at our table. I paint only so I can see orange and red thick lines on heavy paper. I paint so I can feel texture being laid down heavy. So much paint that the paper gets weighed down and warped.

I used to make myself do artwork with my children. My oldest is actually an artist. When we visited my mom for weeks one summer, I tried to do a project with her every day. Until my mom said it was OK to let Caroline do what she wanted instead of finish a project a day with me. Especially since Caroline lost interest quickly and I struggled to finish the art projects on my own.

I tried so hard back then.

When I painted on Sunday, I did ask my second daughter if she wanted to join me. Nope. I painted alone, in search of being doused more deeply by the color orange, with a hint of red dropped in. Because: red.

Today I sit in my dining room. Alone. No young kids needing me to make them breakfast. No younger me trying really hard to make meaningful space between my children and me. Not knowing that feeding them was enough most days.

Now being in the room with them for a small part of every day is what I seek.

I wonder if I’ll hobble together an easel in a few years. Or if I’ll keep spreading thick paper on our dining room table. Paper to soak up the orange paint I’ll brush on the paper. In search of something. I’ll let you know what I find.





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