(Dear commenters: If you are having issues with my new comment system and are trying to figure out how to login with Blogger, simply choose the Google Friends option and click Join Site to comment with your Blogger/Google account. There is no registration process, just the one click. Now, on to the post!)
I know a woman who, very much like myself, grew up reading comic books with starry eyes until her mom would come in and turn off the light. Like me, she was always a bit of tomboy who never backed down from being as fearless as the boys. Like me, she harbored a love for creating with her hands and soon found herself drawing portraits and exploring the potential that putting pencil to paper could create. She also had a knack for doing makeup and sewing. There was never a day she wasn’t wearing the latest fashion which she had lovingly sewn herself. She rocked out to Hendrix and the Beatles and had all the free spirit of someone full of inspiration and potential.
But a funny thing happened to this bright-eyed artist. Her mom threw her comic books away and she was taught that money was more important than this silly thing called art that could never support her. She was made to grow up in short order. She forgot her love of creation, or at the very least, pushed it deep down and pretended to forget.
Over this Mother’s Day weekend, I slipped a set of watercolors into my mom’s hands and watched a smile creep on her lips and her eyes close as if the lids were heavy with the memories of days when she could enjoy such things without being judged by others. Against all other forces, my mother has been there encouraging me and telling me what her parents didn’t tell her. That art is viable, that she accepts it as being a part of me, and that she will be there always to help me when the road is hard.
To this day, she has never thrown a single comic book away, though we have moved at least 20 times throughout my life.
Now, I can only hope to help her stop pretending, to tempt her with the empty canvas and the fresh paints and the feel of a brush in her hand. This gift of inspiration I inherited from her. I hope to give it back ten-fold.
So the next time you look at your parents and think that they are just boring old business folk, ask them what they used to do for fun when they were your age. I guarantee that there are many out there who have pretended to forget their inner artist or had a dream that faded with all the years of being told that they could not.
This one’s for you, mom.