Last week I drew a picture of a juice box for no good reason and it felt kind of nice, so two days ago I took the kids outside with some sidewalk chalk for more drawing. Lance drew two rainbows, Vivian drew some lines, and I drew a tree.
Then this morning I found myself laying flat on my back in the middle of our driveway squinting to keep the sun out of my eyes as my kids, one on each side, used the chalk to draw my frame.
By the time we were done, we had drawn one Lance, three Vivian’s, and one Mommy.
“Time to decorate ourselves,” I proclaimed.
“Oohhhh,” I said with luster, “I am going to give myself blue, star eyes. I’ve always wanted blue, star eyes!”
That was when I turned around right into the faces of a nice looking middle-aged couple strolling along on the sidewalk watching us. I swear they came out of nowhere, but obviously they had plenty of time to approach unbeknownst to me while I was laying flat on my back being drawn.
I was totally embarrassed by my over-zealous desire to draw myself blue, star eyes that I said so to them. They smiled kindly and said, “It’s ok, we’ve been there,” and went on their way.
As far as I was concerned, that was a green light to take my self-portrait to the next level.
From there, I gave myself a big smile with big teeth. I like to smile and, truthfully, I happen to have big teeth.
I added some orange ears that awkwardly stuck out of the side of my head, and I adorned them with dangling earrings.
I clothed myself with blue jeans and a white tank top that accented the lopsided figure the kids had given me. Since giving birth to them, I am pretty accepting about what they do to my body.
Then I added some gold-spangled bracelets and a purple belt with 70’s-style fray. Hippies are cool, though I have never been quite able to pull off that kind of look or lifestyle.
My self-portrait was looking more and more like me, while at the same time looking more and more less-like me all at the same time.
Wait, that makes no sense.
Spontaneously, I gave myself a big “J,” for Jan, tattoo on my upper right arm. I don’t have a tattoo in real-life, and if I did it definitely wouldn’t be the first letter of my husband’s first name, but work with me here. He is away right now – the chalk tattoo gave me some comfort.
I thought I was about finished when Lance said, “Mommy you need a pocketbook (cringe, it’s a purse son!).” I quickly gave myself a yellow one and, as a last touch, added an orange triangle pendant around my neck.
You cannot see my blue spiky hair that Lance drew, even though I don’t have blue spiky hair in real life and I never will. You’ll have to trust me on this one because I don’t feel like going back outside to take another picture of myself. I mean seriously, how am I going to keep explaining myself to the neighbors?
The great thing about this self-portrait is that it looks absolutely nothing like me when you boil it all down, but it was fun and imaginative and my kids responded to the activity because I jumped in with both feet.
I’m tired of playing for now – truth be told I often don’t like playing with my kids. I like taking care of them and loving them and reading to them and going places with them, yes, but playing?
Nah. Not so much.
Nonetheless, today was fun and I decided to add drawing to my repertoire of things I like to do with them. I am beginning to think it might rank right up there with eating ice cream with them, but then again who am I kidding?
I better shuffle back outside after all and draw a vanilla cone in my hand. The neighbors will understand.