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Jan 2010

Back to School Messes

I know why our kids don’t paint very much. It’s the same reason they don’t go outside very much in the winter. I don’t think they will freeze in the cold air or that they will catch colds. I’m not stingy with my art supplies- our craft cabinets are full of materials.

But I don’t like the mess. Last week they found the unfinished frames I bought because the price was too good to pass up. And in one day- nay, one hour- they painted all 10 of them. They painted “Best Friends” frames for each other. And presents for assorted friends. And, of course, a couple for Chris and me.

They had a blast. Their inner painters were unlocked and they painted with all their hearts. And what did I do? I’ll sum it up this way- I don’t think I’ve relaxed yet. I wish I had had the sense of humor to take a picture of Kate- when I walked in on her in the sun room with her paints and frames spread out all over the rug (of course she put her painted frames on top of a piece of construction paper to protect the rug.) I had just finished scrubbing the rug there when I went downstairs to the craft table to check on Mia and Kate. Mia was taking care of Kate- pouring paint on a paper plate for her. But in her limited experience she hadn’t figured out to hold the paint jars over the plate when she started to pour.

And did I say that I don’t send my kids outside to play much in the winter? Yep- the same reason. The mess takes just as long to clean up, but it looks more like this:

I had already put everyone to bed and cleaned up 9 coats (yes, I know that’s more coats than bodies in the house- don’t remind me) before I took this picture.

Our kids probably had a richer-than-normal week of homeschooling this past week in between their self-taught painting exercises, outside play, and lots of new library books. And me? I am dreaming of a hot bath.

But I am grateful- grateful that God has more grace for my mess and more joy when I am learning new things than I have shown.  He is my Father (as last week’s sermon reminded me) but he’s not the kind of dad that needs a break from me and my mess.  He rejoices over me- not when I have cleaned myself up, but because he sees through my sin the daughter he died to redeem.


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