Watermarks on the Art Book

“Come and look Mum!”

Brush still in hand and paint dripping down to his elbow, he gazes longingly through the kitchen window.

“Mum, come now, please. Come and see what I’ve painted.”

The littlest one rattles at the door desperate to go outside and join the big brother. He sees freedom and fun. I simply see the mess that would ensue.

“Just wait a while. I’ll come out soon, by myself.” My reply floats between open kitchen window and craft table outside.

The words seem stuck in mid-air. Just wait. . . . Wait-a-minute. . . . I’ll be there soon. . . . . These statements come far to often from my lips. So I bundle up courage and open the door allowing littlest one to slip out with lightening quick movement before the door gets closed again.

Paint 1 Paint


This day began with the littlest one climbing out of his cot, a new-found skill which he is rather proud to show off, at a way-too-early hour. Grumpiness, tiredness and a general attitude which I’ve translated as ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-myself’ make the next few hours a challenge to keep up with this boy.

Milk tipped over the bench, laundry powder sprinkled through the dryer and two rooms, bookshelves emptied and their contents strewn across the floor, computer turned off while it was being used by big sister. . . . . This boy had it all happening this morning. Thus I was more than a little reluctant to let him anywhere near paint at this point in time.

Unmasked joy and pride was on full display as the big brother showed his artwork, explaining it all in the greatest detail. An artbook lay open beside him to provide inspiration and his tool of choice was a cotton wool bud. The result was remarkably similar to the Aboriginal art print which provided the guide.

I glance away for a mere second to observe the coming rain clouds.

A mere second glancing at the rain clouds proved far too long to leave this littlest one from direct view. Our beautiful artbook now has a murky, black-brown watermark flowing through almost every page. And two outfits permanantly stained with black not-able-to-wash-out paint.

But…. the joy evident in the eyes of the big brother make it all worthwhile. He showed off his artwork with deserving pride. How often is he the one who patiently waits while I am busy with the daily duties. He waits, but often I don’t make it to look. Today I did. An art book may now have murky, water stains adorning it’s pages. But that’s ok. It’s only a book, a book with a memory etched forever on it’s pages.

And sometimes, just sometimes, being a Mummy is all about this sort of thing. Giving the deserved attention to the little ones who need it. Then continue on to clean up the messes that are sure to happen. Delighting in the way that these children are growing, every single day.


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