Last month I signed up for the Wish Play Create online art playgroup, which means that every Monday I get a new art project idea emailed to me with detailed instructions that my kids and I get to try out, take pictures of, and then post on flickr. So far, I love this. I'm not naturally gifted with artistic abilities, and really if my daughter and I had a doodling contest, she would win the trophy fair-and-square. I did, however, love shopping for the art supplies, imagining what the bits of ribbon, sparkly paint, and Plaster of Paris might become! We started out Week One with a chance to paint and create mixed media collages. We're actually still working on them, and we had a breakthrough idea just yesterday, but today we got sidetracked with Ollie's idea to "make dough." Oh, have I mentioned that they aren't in school yet? That's a horrifying story I'll add next week - by that time they should be starting school and I'll have a lot more time to myself to clean up after these art projects...where were we?
Week 2 was led by my photography hero, Tracey Clark! The final project will be a banner (well, OK two banners - one by Rachel, one by me) displaying pictures we've taken to illustrate our personalities. To get us thinking about what our pictures might be about, she sent along a simple questionnaire for us each to fill out. We took our papers, pens, and drinks outside to enjoy the incredibly beautiful early fall morning on Sunday. Things were going well for me until I had to fill out "I'm really good at..." I know now that I'm really good at telling myself what I'm not really good at! Cooking, not really. Riding my bike, well who's not? Taking pictures, don't kid yourself. Ack! I had this terrible moment in which I couldn't come up with anything, even great, simple stuff like Rachel's thoughts of "roller skating, climbing, jumping rope." I suddenly came up with (gulp)...driving...and...vacuuming. I had to laugh at myself! I had all these Mondo Beyondo helpers in my head telling me, "You're great, Jenny! We know it! Don't put yourself down like that!" I was also thinking, "This is not the reaction that Tracey Clark would want you to have!" I gingerly asked Rachel, "What do you think I'm really good at?" She said, "I have to go potty. I'll think of something and then yell it out the window." Ohhhhhh, great. Now the neighbors will know what I'm so great at! I hope it's something better than, "You always dress yourself everyday!"
So, when she yelled, "Mommy, you're really good at being nice!" I was uplifted. You can see in my photo that there is all that space around the question and that I thought about it for a while, wrote that I'm organized (ha! sort of) then skipped ahead. When it came to the action of the assignment though, my freak-out seemed irrelevant. I got to use pictures of my beautiful (and nice!) daughter, the flowers in our garden, sunsets we've seen together, and lovely things I've seen on my recent trips. Her banner will be filled with great pictures she's taken lately of flowers, animals at the zoo, ballerinas, and her beloved kitty. What matters most is that we did this together, we had fun, and that we helped each other! Love you, kid!