Not So Perfect


not so perfectMy “not so perfect” painted-canvas family growing up looked like: five boys, two girls, a German Shepherd named King, an overworked mom, and a functioning alcoholic dad. Although as a young girl I didn’t know what dysfunctional meant, I quickly learned. I also knew I wanted to have a family when I grew up, and I wanted my own family to look and feel just a little bit different from the one in the painting of my life so far.

When the opportunity came for me to be the mom on my canvas picture, I painted over the old and started with new people and more vibrant colors. My picture included a mom and a dad, three boys, and one girl. It included dogs that never stayed very long, several young relatives, and a few of my kids’ friends that were in need of some additional parenting. Even adults that for one reason or another I became responsible for all claimed a space on that canvas. 

We made sure to hug a lot and said, “I love you” just because we could and meant it!

Over the years, I made many alterations to that work of art, adding and subtracting as needed. Eventually, the dad’s color faded until it was no longer visible, and my children, relatives, and their friends grew up and made way for others to be added. Even so, I make sure to keep their place, just in case they need a touch up. 

Amazingly, the best part about my ever-changing piece of art called “Life”, the one that holds the best and, at times, the worst of memories, is that it continues to hold room for more. 

Affectionately called GaGa by the five grandchildren, I was blessed to add to my canvas, which made the “not so perfect” perfectly clear that washable paint and patience are a virtue – and also a best friend to parents in every capacity….

The colors on my painting seem to revive themselves, and the canvas magically expands with each addition. And if you look closely enough at the fine print on the bottom of the painting, you will find these words, splattered in blood, sweat, and tears:

Parenting: the hardest picture to paint but worth its weight in color!!!!


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