The Last Kiss

It has happened. That dreaded day that all mothers of little boys fear. The last kiss. The day that as you drop your son off at school they ask you in a very grown up voice, if you can please not kiss them goodbye in front of everyone. Sigh. I knew it was coming. I’ve been there twice before. Now we will strike a deal to get that sweet little kiss before we get to school. I quickly put my feelings into this little sketch while they are foremost in my mind. I wish I had the time today to paint my feelings, but it is not to be, so I will have to be satisfied with a quick sketch for now. My only consolation is that they get over this phase and in their late teens, don’t mind and even welcome the extra attention as they stand towering over me.

Look for the open window

This is a piece I finished right before going to visit my soldier boy at Ft. Benning, GA this past weekend. The original face was very sad. After receiving some comments from some friends about how sad she looked, I took another look when I got home, and reworked it to be more wistful than sad. I didn’t want to only convey sadness. This piece is about hope also. When God closes a door, He opens a window. I am sad about some of the doors that are closing in my life right now. My oldest is on his own now, making his way in the world, and while I still see the child in him peeking out at times, more and more, it’s a young man that stands before me. One that is excited about starting his life. For this I wanted my art to also be about hope. I am at a time in my life that I need to focus on the open window and not the closing door.

When we drove into the parking lot there were two soldiers pulling guard duty. I thought oh, that young man looks a bit like Christopher. Then I realized it was Christopher! While he couldn’t hug me, he was grinning from

ear to ear! What a nice surprise! We had a great visit, all too short, and though I noticed a lot of changes in my boy, he was still the boy I know and love so much. He is closing the door on childhood, but he’s been in the process for years:-) We always said he was 3 going on 30. Christopher couldn’t wait to grow up! With size 14 shoes and standing 6’3″, I’d say he’s there! This last photo is of him walking back up the hill at the end of our visit.

Get out a tissue, there wasn’t a dry eye among us, I still get teary looking at this one, but I am going to look and to remember that he is flying out the window under his own steam. I will look forward to this stage of my life and all that it holds. May God keep my son and the son’s and daughters of all those serving our country safe.

Basic Training in Child Rearing

I just spent the last few minutes teary eyed again. My oldest son, Christopher, is going to Basic Training this coming Wednesday. I am so conflicted, one minute PROUD and the next wanting to tell the Army they can’t have my son, he’s still a baby! I know that this is what he wants, it is his dream and that is what makes me happy for him. This dream of his was even more realized by me this morning. My husband is out in the garage with (this is another looooong story that I will share some other time) his new project, restoring a 1972 Buick Skylark, it is snowing, and really cold. I told him I would go in and get him some gloves (funny how you wouldn’t think you’d need them in April:-). I reached up to the top shelf in the coat closet and found this shirt while searching for the gloves. This is Christopher’s from his “I wanna be a soldier, playing army” days. Seeing this made me realize how long he has wanted this. It is his dream and he is about to embark on it. I am hanging this in the front hallway and there it will stay until he comes home. It will remind me that while this is hard for his mom, it is what he has been working toward for almost his whole life. I am very proud of him and I will be the best ‘Arm Mom’ that I can. I will smile and hold my head up high and proudly and try not to let him see my “mom’s tears”, while praying for him constantly.