Some thoughts for my Daughters…..

Dear Daughters and Stepdaughters,

Looking at life through the lens of daughter, mother, stepmother and grandmother, I have come to appreciate how much harder it is to be a mother today than it was for my mother in the 60’s or for me in the 90’s.  Please don’t be fooled by all of the conveniences of modern motherhood – more mothering blogs, advice books, toys, electronic devices, quick foods, and gadgetry have not made your lives easier.

In fact, you are living in such a complex and fast paced world that it’s hard to keep up with the latest recall (Is your peanut butter OK?  Has your baby car seat been condemned?).  Add to that the fact that it is really challenging for you to live a life as comfortable as the one in which you were raised. And the fact that you worked very hard for your pre-children careers, which you are  financially unable to abandon easily without great hardship( and which you continue to pay for.) This despite the fact that you are inundated with the idea and philosophies that you must breastfeed( else you are a bad mother) and spend the formative years exclusively with your children. Hard to understand how you can do all that and work.  You definitely have a recipe for stress far greater than your grandmothers or I experienced.

I feel sad that many of your grandmothers’ generation, and many of my fellow baby boomers, are sometimes so harsh in their criticism of your generation of mothers.  Your grandmother can honestly declare, “In my day, children weren’t spoiled by so many toys,” or “Children didn’t watch so much television,” or “We didn’t need DVDs, smart phones, or iPads to occupy our kids,” or “Children didn’t misbehave in restaurants.” Largely this is due to the fact that many of these things did not exist in her day(with the exception of restaurants and tv).  My peers and I would have to admit that we picked up tons of toys every night and let you watch television so we could cook dinner.  We definitely would have used the DVD’s and smart phones if we’d had them and I suspect so would they.

So, my daughters, I apologize for the disapproval you and your peers feel from women who raised their children in calmer and simpler times. Here’s what I want you to know:

You are all already vastly more prepared and educated than we were as mothers.  I’ve watched each of you educate yourselves on prenatal care, postnatal care,breastfeeding,  study child rearing techniques, agonize over food choices and  childcare, weigh pros and cons of staying at home or keeping your careers. I’m pretty sure a lot of the people in my generation,  and my mom’s parented on a wing and a prayer.  I know I did.

You will make mistakes.  It’s human nature and moms are not exempt from that.  I’ve made many many.  So have your grandmothers and every other mom out there. Moms are not perfect  Learn from them and learn from their mistakes and move on.

Know that I see and appreciate what you are doing.  You are all great moms already.  I could not be prouder of each of you!  Why?  Because you love your children, and I see all of you cherishing those babies and keeping them safe and healthy.  I see the countless hours you spend planning, playing, working to ensure that your children will be happy healthy members of this world, despite being tired, overworked, and stressed yourselves.

Jessica I watched you struggle with your illness and med schedule to make sure that your babies were healthy and safe. I’ve watched the countless hours you spend with our grandsons teaching, and playing despite having little sleep. You rock,  and your patience as a Mom is amazing!

Ginger I saw your little feet swollen up like pumpkins because you worked right up until the end in order to provide for your son economically.  I’ve seen how his face lights up for you when he hears your voice and what a happy little fella he is…letting the world know that he is safe and secure .  You are a wonderful Mom!

Savanna I’ve watched you struggle with pain and illness in order to bring our granddaughter into the world safely ..any day now.   The sheer amount of planning and thought put into how you want to raise your daughter has been awe inspiring.  Truly I’m in awe of the Mom you’re becoming!

If you occasionally feel criticized for your parenting and hear the familiar, “In my day…” – please understand that people who say this have mostly rewritten the past to suit themselves. They’ve forgotten what it was really like. I know I have and they have to.   Also know that their times were far less challenging than yours.

And please forgive me for teaching you that, you have to do it all by yourself and for yourself.  I somehow took that on and most likely passed some of that to all of you in one way or another. Find a village to help you to raise your children wherever you can, and be part of someone else’s village too.  Because it takes a village.  You guys are my village and I’m proud to be a part of your village ever yday.  My world is a better place because you are in it!

Love you all!

In my Spare time (new listings)

So in my spare time…I create.  Little moments stolen from the demands of life in a big family.  I haven’t made the time lately to make sure that my listings were updated on Etsy.  But I did today.  Woot! And it is very cool sometimes to see all of this artwork together and realize that you can create a body of work in those small moments.  You can.

 

Alien Thoughts bear channel Choose thoughts that bring relief claim your strength you are not that fragile Culturally transmitted madness Driving the Prejudice Vehicle is a dead end job hush hush I Am You I know you by your opposites listen as hard as you can mostly just a dream mother maiden crone Not bone tired but heart tired objects of scrutiny Once there existed a golden time One day at a time Playing the part despite her ancient knowledge Rabbit Requiem of doubt secure in the strength she was born with Some angel that wanted you to choose to breathe Tell The Truth The magic never left you The Unique Ones tired of watching every step waiting on the next step to be revealed what goes on in the pauses What if you're just too damn tired whispering fairy tales to my inner child

Excavating…

I believe in the evolution of every craftperson’s or artists’ journey there comes a time when the real struggle is about just being yourself.  You can practice and gain muscle memory.  Take classes and learn techniques.  Buy good tools, and doodads.  But then when you’ve gained all those things….the real true work begins.  And it is work.  The most important work.  Knowing how you feel and deciding who you are and what message you want to convey.  This is where I am in the class (you know of life).  I’m the one in the back row who will raise their hand and answer the question.  That this is what I’m supposed to do.  With my time.  And my energy.  Of course there are people who will point out (mainly my children) that there are other things I could be doing…..socializing, eating out, cleaning.  They have a point.  But they also are unaware of how hard it is to be real in your craft.  Because it takes a tremendous amount of time for me to just be who I am in my art.  Seems silly to think that we’ve covered up so much of ourselves that it would be hard to uncover who we are.  But it is and it does.

Excavating

Excavating

Shout outs!

 

A big shout out to my honey for laughing hysterically about paragraphical fiction while we waited for 3 hours for Nicks braces to be done.  I am of the belief that I can start a new genre of fiction wherein I tell the whole story in a paragraph.  Kind of like haiku for the prose world.  He thought that was funny. I had a good time, honey, even though Nick is upset about having to have braces. And a big old thank you to Mom for helping!!! Nick will be happy again one day..lol.

 

and a big shout out to the roofer guy for finally fixing the leak in my dang office!

 

and to Tink for keeping my feet warm last night….

and to Savvy for being willing to hang out with the old folks last night. (I’m not allowed to post pictures so don’t tell the kids I have)

Sometimes it’s the little things.  Well…most times it’s the little things that make life good!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

Fragile….Handle with Care

You may have noticed lately that I kind of have a series going.  I’m fascinated with graffiti/words and I’m also intensely interested in how we are encroaching on nature.  So, I’ve kind of been fusing the two.

So, the  big birthday is over.  Now I just have my son’s birthday in two weeks and they will all be over and I can start getting ready for Christmas…lol.   I woke up this morning feeling a little fragile.  Still have some inner ear stuff going on I think

.  My daughter’s 21st went off well and we just narrowly missed some heavy rain.  I’m grateful for that.  And grateful for all the people who made it such a noteworthy event.  Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone!  My daughter was glowing…here’s a photo( I actually have permission to post this…lol…hard to believe I know)

Evan worked a little too hard and is going to have to recuperate.  The household animals were in an uproar because they had to be shut up for the party.  But given some time…we will all recuperate.  I’m glad it’s over though.  whew.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Am I here…

 

Why am I here…no not on earth….but here in blogworld?  Here’s a little insight into how my brain works. When it’s working.   Originally I thought…”hey Self, I’ve got something to share with the world.”  But “self” is lazy.  Self said, “hey, it’s too much work, you’ll get tired of it quickly, you’re not a writer, or much of an artist really and no one will read your blog, it’s just one more thing to do.” I then had to beat “self” with a stick. I told “self” that “the person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person doing it.”  Then I hopped onto the internet and learned how to get a blog up.  sort of.

But back to my point. The real question I’ve been asking myself is …why am I doing this?  What’s my plan?  Where am I headed?  You know, in some ways (not all) I’m a non-conformist.  I can’t really get with the program that I was taught many years ago…to work my life away in the quest for more and more bigger and better things.  (Mom I didn’t say you taught me that) And I sort of like some things, to be honest.  You know, like a home and art supplies and food. Well and good books, and comfortable shoes. You know, the important things.  However; more and more I really love “time”.  Time to grow and learn and be.  Time to spend with my quickly growing children.  Time to think and ponder.  Time to write and create.  Wonderful, huge great gobs of time.  And really, time = freedom doesn’t it?  But again I’m getting off track.

Back to the question, why am I here? I do have an answer. Just not a good one.

I haven’t figured it out yet…but when I do…  I will so let you know.  In the meantime, like my art, I’m meandering along finding my path in blogworld.

 

Birthday Season…

Here at our house, it’s Birthday season.  We’ve got four children’s birthdays in the next three months, my mom and my sister Tam, and my other sister Karyn.  A lot of birthdays.  My daughter will be twenty one this birthday and that’s a big one.  Then christmas rolls around soon after.  You may be laughing and saying “Christmas”? you’re thinking about that in July?  Dang right I am.  Evan and I have six children between us, along with our family members.  It’s a lot of Christmas to deal with.   So…my mind is occupied with making and cherishing and,  and saving money…lol.  How can I do it all, make a big deal out of it, have everyone feel precious and loved,  and not spend too much money for each occasion?.  Any ideas are welcome from you!!!

Those of you who know me may be saying…hey Fonda, just make them something.  It’s true, I am a binge creator.  But, my family members have tons of stuff I have made them.  It gets harder and harder each time to just give them more and more of my “stuff”.  I suspect they get tired of it really.  And funny thing, kids don’t really want a piece of art for their birthday.  lol.  Who knew right?  They want things like macs and iphones and clothes.  Can’t make those. So if you see me around with my head in the clouds, you’ll know why.  I’m conjuring up birthday presents…from thin air.