My heart and my walls.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I used to waltz into friends' homes where children's artwork was plastered all over the walls and squint my eyes and think, "Really?" A family portrait by a 3-year-old that looked like a pack of monsters. A tawdry tie dye flower. A spelling test with a bright red A+ in the top right corner. It all felt so tacky to me. I understood hanging a drawing or two with a magnet on the refrigerator door, but on the walls? No thanks.
Well, times have changed and so has my smug heart. I'm becoming that mom. Or perhaps I've already become her.

Every little twig Liam brings me from the yard... every pebble he drops in my hand, I want to keep it all forever. I guess I just want to keep a part of him forever. Him at every stage. I understand now what those sweet moms were possibly grasping for: for time to stand still. They wanted to savor a little piece of their children at each age, and the closest they could get was to save something that their little hands and minds created.

Liam is undoubtedly my greatest masterpiece. And whatever comes from him - even very abstract, drippy watercolors - is just so beautiful to me. Perhaps that's why grandparents are so enthralled with their grandchildren. What causes their children joy brings them so much joy, and I can't help but think God must feel the same way when He sees us doing what we were created to do.
When I pulled out the watercolors today, I had low expectations. Liam's attention span at 17 months old is about 20 seconds long, so I was shocked when I looked up at the clock and we'd spent half an hour with the paints. Granted, some of that time was spent sucking the paint off the end of the brush. But still. I will always look at these paintings and remember the intense look on his face as he pushed the brush across the paper, and how it softened into the purest smile when he knew I was proud.

When we finished, my first thought stunned me a little: "I have to frame these. I have to."

Oh Liam, what have you done to your mama's heart and her walls? It's clear you've left your indelible mark on both.


  1. <3 Love. The first-water-color milestone is almost as big a deal around here as first birthdays. :) And yes, my house is covered in happy art. (Even when the words are crooked and I look like a monster, their masterpieces make my heart sing.)

    1. Oh, one more (very practical) thing. Have you ever heard of waterbrushes (my favorites are made by Pentel)? They revolutionize arting with a toddler. They make it a lot easier for Toddler to manage than dipping and rinsing the brush AND easier for Mama to clean up afterward. Win-win.

  2. I used to think the same thing about homes with toys strewn everywhere, like- Can't you at least make them keep their toys in their room? And now I'm the one with toys everywhere. We have our kids masterpieces framed and hung on the wall for all to see. Funny how parenthood changes everything!

  3. OMG Whitney..this is such a cute post. I absolutly understand what you mean and so relate to it.
    Liam is too cute.


  4. made me cry. so made me cry.

  5. It's one of the surprises of motherhood, isn't it? Everything you thought you'd never do or think! You just want to make time stop and inhale their preciousness deeply.

  6. You will need to post once you frame them. I bet they will look wonderful!


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