watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | peeking out

I recently heard a conversation on NPR between one dad with a couple of kids and a soon-to-be father. Dad #1 asked dad #2, “You mean to say you voluntarily signed up to have your heart ripped out of your chest EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of your life?” I laughed, as it was funny, but damned accurate. I’ve been reading different reviews and articles about how our culture is just beginning to consider previously unspoken points of view on parenting, particularly motherhood. Books are published, movies are made, and intelligent TV series are broadcast exploring how mothers deal with inner, searing conflicts about raising kids. Until now there have been two models of motherhood — the sacrificial saint, a madonna laying down her life for the children, and the bad mom — abusive alcoholic or, god forbid, a selfish career woman who abandons her kids (but usually, in the Hallmark movie, comes to repent and mend her ways). How hard is parenting? Nothing harder. I don’t care if you are CEO of a huge global enterprise, or have climbed Mt Everest 10 times, or are a Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent. I have two adult children and still I have to practice letting go every single effing day, as they live their own lives and walk their own paths. So I applaud all the moms and dads out there who fumble along and do their best to raise their kids to be healthy, functioning adults. And I am glad women are finally breaking taboos and speaking up about how difficult it is to mother — the self-doubt, the confusion, the resentment, the heartache, the fear you took a disastrous wrong turn. I hope our current cultural climate begets honest conversations about this inner tumult. Because it’s there, even if concealed under the blankets of our sore hearts. And once again I am up on my soapbox! (Please forgive me.) It’s just that I have a fierce longing to be honest and embrace difficult feelings and say them OUT LOUD. Because, well, yes.

Speaking of mothering, this is Buster, my little rescue guinea pig, and I’m his mom. He’s super low maintenance. No drama or worries about his life choices. And he makes the cutest little squeaks (I think his piggie noises translate into, Hey Mom, thanks for the lettuce and cucumber sandwich). You’re welcome, Bubbie.

7″ x 7″ watercolor, pen, acrylic on paper = $65