My art show.

I’ve been trying my hand at all kinds of “art” recently.  I keep having this little itch in my head to make something pretty.  My daughters are all better at this skill than me.  I assumed, since they are my spawn that their artsy flair must come from my genetics. Therefore, I should be able to draw, paint, photograph and create JUST LIKE THEM, right?

No, not right.

The most recent attempt was working with my oldest daughter who can do hand lettering of ANY KIND SHE WANTS simply by looking at it.  She just studies it for a few moments, grabs a marker and replicates it. It’s beautiful and makes a simple note look like a piece of art.  “YES! THAT! I WANT TO DO THAT!” I told her and she agreed to help me with it.  She kept showing me and showing me and when my writing didn’t look ANYTHING like hers, or even remotely legible, she started saying things like…”Just keep practicing, you’re just getting started.”  and because I have ZERO PATIENCE and want to be good at things IMMEDIATELY I got REAL spicy and started saying things like …”stop patronizing me and go clean your room. And give me your car keys. And your phone. Lesson over.”

I’m super reasonable when I suck at things.

Anyway, when I finally calmed down she said this to me…”Mom, you’re failing because you’re trying to do MY art.  Do YOUR art.”

Well that was irritating.

Then my friend Cheryl came in to see me for her son’s eye exam.  Cheryl uses her fabric obsession to make the most visually pleasing things.  The colors she uses are like a massage for my eyeballs and sometimes I just stare at her instagram page (craftycjaeger) for a pick-me-up.  I was telling her about this conversation and she said…”that’s smart, and true because your art is when you write.”

Hmmm.

Well…I replied that maybe she had a point but I want to make something colorful and visually pretty and she starting saying all that PRACTICE crap and I said…”stop patronizing me and go clean your room, Cheryl.”  It got a little weird when I asked for her car keys and her phone and she said something about needing to get to another appointment and nervously grabbed her son to lead him out of the room but surely that wasn’t about me…

Anyway, next I found myself at coffee with a couple of other friends and one of them told a story about a relative who lost her mother at a very early age and all she could remember was the sound of her mother’s laugh and the jewelry she wore.

I immediately had tears rolling out of my eyes to which both women looked at me like I was a loon.  At that moment, even I didn’t understand why there was such an extreme reaction.

Later that same day I picked up my middle daughter from school and one of the first things she asked me was…”Mom, why don’t you write on your blog anymore?  Someone asked me that today and I didn’t know the answer.”

Ok, Big Guy.  I hear you.  Stop shouting.

I know the answer to that question. There’s two reasons actually.  First, when my babies started being teenagers telling their stories became trickier.  It became more invasive. I never write anything without their permission and I won’t start now but I think there’s plenty to write that they’ll approve of.  There’s so much that happens in this house with 4 ESTROGEN-FILLED individuals and one man who has permanent egg shells attached to the bottom of his feet.  There are stories to tell.  I am certain of that.

Plus there’s the rest of life.  Beyond these kids. And that’s reason number two.

I’d love to be able to chat about certain social agendas but the problem is that I fit in NO political box.  I grew up the daughter of a public school teacher and a gun store owner.  I believe that there is NEVER enough money given properly to the public education system in this country while simultaneously believing that my second amendment rights shouldn’t be altered, in ANY WAY.

I 100% believe that “to whom much is given much is expected” but if you use the word socialism around me I’m probably going to cringe uncomfortably and ask if you really know what that word even means.

I moved to Memphis, TN in the late 90s and got to know a few men who at the time let me know that they were proudly “out of the closet.”  I even did a march for Gay rights while I was there.  In the late 90’s not many straight, white, mid-western girls were marching in the Cooper-Young district with their hair dresser and his partner but I did and it taught me so much about the fact that all of God’s children matter and deserve respect, love and RIGHTS. All of them. No matter what. Want to see me get upset?  Tell me otherwise.  Plus that same hairdresser taught me that I could try a bleach blond bob hairstyle and who cares because it’s just hair and it will grow back.  His lessons were endless.

Speaking of God,  I love Jesus and speaking about my Christian faith will bring me to tears faster than any other conversation you can have with me.  Want to talk to me about yours? I would love to.  Really, I would.  I love to learn.  Want to see my college and Optometry school friends give me a side eye?  Let them read this and they’ll try to remember me setting foot in a church during that decade.  I didn’t.  Time changes things.

Oh…but along with my love of church you should know that I drink coffee only until its time to switch to wine and I swear way too often. When my youngest daughter was 4 there was a list of words she knew she “wasn’t sposed to ever say at school…” and I think that might have been my fault. Well except that she considered “frog fart” to be one of those words so who knows?

So…do you all see how many people I can offend or confuse by writing a blog that expresses any of these thoughts?   How multiple decades of people who know me or knew me, could read this and would scratch their heads thinking…”that doesn’t sound like the person I knew…”

I’ll tell you how many…

ALL OF THEM.

I also know that there’s only about 10 of you regular read this blog and 8 of you share my genetics or children with me and feel somewhat obligated to do so.  So, honestly, my circle of influence is small.

But this I can say as fact… I started this blog because writing makes me joyful.  It actually makes my heart beat faster because I’m so excited when I do it.  I did this so my kids could know me as a person at lots of different stages of my life, not just the one they are in with me at the time.

I want my kids to remember more than my laugh and jewelry.

And that’s mostly because I buy cheap jewelry and my laugh is loud and obnoxious but you get the idea.

Ultimately, I want them to be able to read these thoughts, years from now, and in some way say…

That was her art.

And she PRACTICED it.

Comments

  1. bmkmjhorton says:

    I LOVE your art! The talent you have to express, entertain, engage, and evoke… you really have a gift. And I’m glad to be one of the 2/10 who aren’t related to you but regularly read your blog. 😉

  2. This is exactly who you are to me so I didn’t scratch my head once. And you DID make pretty children, so there’s that. I’m glad your back! Your blog motivates me to start writing again.

  3. What a gift your words are now for me, and a treasure they will be for your children later. Your stories are always funny and uplifting and I’m all about using blogs to procrastinate what truly needs to be done. 😂😂 keep sharing this art with others!

    P.S. I too am a big fan of Cheryl’s fabric arts.

  4. Jennifer Jabaley says:

    Suzie, I’m so glad you’re writing again (dare I say, me too). I wish you lived closer and we could drink coffee then wine and share our writing. But since we don’t, this will do. 🙂 I totally understand the complex nature of your opinions and political views and social standings – but that’s what makes you interesting. And likable – because you are not one-sided and willing to view things with a wide open lens. Keep writing!!

    • Oh how I wish that too! I would love to be closer!!!
      I am thrilled to hear you are writing…I cannot wait to get to walk into a bookstore and again hold your book up saying…” I know her, I know her!!” like I did the first time! Third times a charm for this book for you, please can I be an early reader???

  5. Beautiful.

  6. I’m so glad you’re back. I’ve missed your gift, your humor, your perspective. Love this piece of art!

  7. Mary Castro says:

    It is your art and I want more! I got to thinking about you and I think the way you make people feel is a gift. I am always happier after a visit with you. Your smile, genuine interest, your laugh—those are the things I love about you!

  8. Jennifer Flowers says:

    I have loved your blog since Pastor Jim shared about it many years ago. I hope you continue to share “your” art with us…because you have so many wonderful stories to share. I have loved reading every blog and get excited when I receive a notification that there is a new post from you. Thanks for sharing!!!

  9. I love you & your beautiful girls & Jason too!!
    Even more I love how you can give yourself the freedom (which is not easy!) to keep it real!
    Keeping it real benefits everyone that you share this with & somehow gives your audience & fans a sense of release to keep it real in their lives & testimonies & for that I applaud you! Cheers my dear friend!! Muahh!!!

  10. This may be my favorite post of yours yet. I’m so glad you’re back and that you are using words as your art. You are so talented and the world needs your humor as well as your heart. Honored to know you, my friend. xoxo

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