Studio Time, Blackout and Elementary School

“Here’s the plate mom” Fiona says. She says it several times, I should have ran over and grabbed the plate. She was being helpful. I was too busy cooking dinner and gathering flashlights and candles for the safety box. Fiona had been putting the little tea candles back in the tin they came in. She had put them on the plate earlier when the power went out. It’s hard to imagine how much we depend on electricity. When I got home with the kids yesterday, I still had no idea how long the power would be out. I was not on the shut off list. I sat and panicked. The thing I worried about most was the food in the refrigerator. I worried how I would save it and how I would feed the kids. But the power came back on in a few hours. The kids got to eat extra popsicles and I got a practice run going through a PG&E Blackout. I need to organize my emergency preparedness kits a little better.

I was able to work in my studio several days this week. It felt good. I wish I had more time. I worked on collages, I ruined a ton, but I have some I like so far. I also framed four of my works on silk. They are hard to see in a picture. The detail and the shadow that should be cast behind the silk and stitch. The works I created this week are broken faces. Fragments of internal and external selves. I started volunteering this week at Jack and Fiona’s school. On Tuesdays I do art class. An artist comes from Youth in The Arts and does a project, first with my son’s class then with my daughters. It was great fun. I’ve also been doing a Art Journaling project with my kids most nights. It’s been an inspiring, creative week.

I only had one ASL class this week, our Thursday class was cancelled. The one class we had we practiced a story we need to do for our midterm. Most of the lesson is about facial expressions. So I studied facial expressions a lot this week. I didn’t go to my Spanish class again. That was too much for my brain. Doing ASL and Spanish on the same day. I thank my friend who suggested I drop Spanish; she was so right on!

This was a good week for Tantrums. Monday through Thursday Fiona did not have any major tantrums. It’s the first week in a long time. I’ve adjusted many things at home, and I think the school adjusted a few things as well. I’m also at their school more and Fiona loves that. I think Jack likes it too, even though he said he didn’t want me to come to his class originally. It was interesting to see the class dynamics. Jack is super eager. He wants to always answer the questions, to volunteer to do what the teacher asks, he’s super comfortable with people looking at him and listening to him talk. Fiona is much more subdued. Much different than she is at home. Fiona does raise her hand sometimes when the teacher asks a question, but not like Jack. Jack’s like a racehorse wanting to be set loose to run.

It’s almost time to go now to pick up the kids. How can I be fully engaged with them? How can I set my own work aside and pay full attention to Jack and Fiona? How can I react with grace and patience every time they experiment with a mood or a boundary to push? These are the things to answer.

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About Dirty Laundry Blog

Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist