I have been immersed in motherhood. My mothering soul is reaching out to the universe looking for enlightenment and encouragement. I take long walks and listen to talks on motherhood, love and parenting, raising children and creating loving family relationships. I'm reading books, talking with other mothers and reaching out more and more to my own mom.
A few weeks ago while thrifting for more stretchy skirts and xl shirts to fit over my growing belly, I found two old wood ornate frames. I knew immediately I wanted to turn them into chalkboards. This is my thing lately, and I do it with old mirrors too.
The first old frame had a thick cardboard print-out with this painting photocopied on it. (I want to emphasize photocopy so you don't think this is a blog post about the 25 million dollar painting I found at the thrift store!)
I’d seen the painting before. I’m not sure where, but it did look familiar to me. I looked at it for a moment, appreciating the beauty, then quickly moved on. I was ready to chalk-paint over it when something told me to look at the print a bit longer. Was the image sisters, friends, mother-daughter?
I set it aside, painted the beautiful frame it had come in and thought nothing more of it.
Until the next morning, I sat down for breakfast and opened a book I’ve been reading.
Art of Motherhood is filled with a collection of beautiful paintings and text discussing mothering through the ages. I found the book many years ago at the thrift store and you can see from the tattered corners, it’s been looked through a few times.
Would you believe I opened the book up to this exact page?
I found it amazing. Was this painting trying to teach me something? I stared like I was seeing it for the first time. How tender the embrace, how in love the two are. I began reading the history of Madame Vigee Lebrun’s painting title Madame Vigee Lebrun and Child. The painting is the artist with her daughter, Jeanne Lucie Louise. I grabbed Eden and hugged her in my arms while reading.
The text read:
“One wonders what sort of mother she was to little Julie. She reportedly took her impending motherhood in stride, continuing to paint energetically throughout her pregnancy. On the day of Julie’s birth, the artist’s closest friend, Mme de Verdun, came to see her in the studio and found her working, as the artist remembered, “between the throes.” Urged to take to her bed, the artist replied that this was simply not possible, she had a sitting for a portrait the next day. The artist did, however, take her friend’s advice, and her daughter was born that night.”
Oh, the joy I found in this little piece of history. That Madame Vigee Lebrun was too busy in her heart's passion/painting to attend to her own labor is simply wonderful. I remember editing a manuscript while in the hospital laboring with Reef. I find the pull in motherhood between giving of ourselves but the desire to keep a bit of ourselves is constant. We make sacrifices for our children, but still desire to make our mark as individuals, not just mothers.
I recently found the artist Kate Daisy and I’m in love with her work.
(images found here)
Here she is, painting with baby in tow.
Passion to create. Passion to live life to it's fullest. Passion to love beyond measure.
And my sister-in-law Monique who I admire so much. Here she is living her passions with her baby. They are both so beautiful.
I love strong mothers. I have friends going back to school for higher education, training for marathons, learning about interior design, teaching dance classes, traveling to exotic places, learning about whole foods or essential oils and writing books. I admire strength in woman who do all they desire to do. Nothing holds them back. To teach these attributes to your child is a great thing.
I find with each child I have there is a larger capacity and desire to be creative in mothering, but in other things too. How is that? Sure days are busy and time is limited, but in some ways my passions are magnified and I’m able to accomplish more then before.
My favorite gift this Christmas was something my father-in-law said to me while we were out on a walk with
. He’s just lost his wife and finding his
footing again. He’s felt sorrow beyond
my comprehension and still, with hope and optimism he said to me: “The heart has an infinite capacity to love.” I've thought about this over and over again. I always have room in my heart to love more. Love will always grow. Eden on Christmas day at sunset. The air was cool and crisp and he lovingly held my arm in his. I love this man and think he is very wise
I didn’t turn the copy of Madame Vigee Lebrun and Child into a chalkboard. I hung it in
’s room as a reminder
as mother’s and woman, we can have it all! Eden