Friday, December 17, 2010

crafting is a fabulous band-aid

Two nights ago we went to a friends for a small Christmas party. The kids each got to shop and pick out a present, they wrapped them and made their own cards. I looked up a small craft online that the kids got to help with. It was the first art we have done together in months. It made me happy and sad at the same time, to see how excited they were that I busted out the glue gun. When shopping for googly eyes and pipe cleaners all three discussed extensively and decided together what size eyes and what bag of pompoms would be just perfect. It felt like they were grasping at how things used to be.

My six year old in particular was holding on with all her might to every fun little thing that was happening. It was hard to listen to what I could hear in her heart while she talked throughout the afternoon. "Mommy are we still going to make art?"  "Yes."  "Do you promise."  "Yes I do."  "Are we going to glue, and wrap and make food together?"  "Yes all of us."  "Oh good! I want us to all the time again!"  She had her little heart so ready for this special day, that it broke mine. Like she was worried this was her one and only day to have her home and mommy back to the way they should be.

She was smiles all day, and into the evening when we got to our friends. Towards the end of the party she started to cry. She cried on and off till it was time to tuck her into bed. I wanted to believe she was just tired and a little partied out. I wanted to believe so badly that at least my younger two were not being affected much. Thinking that would just be lying to myself again. Her tears told me the truth. Her special day was ending and she was scared it wasn't coming back. As I laid awake that night, all I could think about was her little face all streaky with tears when I told her goodnight. "I had fun tonight mommy, but I don't know why I'm sad."

I felt guilty that I have been holding back on this small thing that brings them so much joy. I felt selfish. Art is my release, always has been. When my heart was broken, it was the last thing on my mind. After awhile I started to feel my pain, and I started to draw again. The pictures were scary, dark and ugly. The pain jumped off the pages, so much so that I decided I was done. So I stopped ALL types of art. Sadly I had forgotten how much it can heal and help, them as well as me. Just because drawing is out right now, doesn't mean everything needs to be.

So I woke with a plan yesterday. 10 days till Christmas, and it will be fun for the kids.  I told the children we will be having a craft day. They were out of school for a snow day, so it worked out well. When I announced my plans, they ran around picking up, working together, chattering about what they would make.
When I tucked my youngest daughter into bed last night she made me smile. "Today was fun mommy, I'm happy."  This year has been different in many ways, and I found out this small difference has been huge to them. Yesterday we relaxed, crafted, watched movies, made cards and necklaces. Art in this house is like breathing, we need it. I promised myself  I won't be so self contained anymore not to notice.                  

some artwork from craft day

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