Monday, April 04, 2011


Flora's busy finishing up paintings for the show. She's deep in process as her left brain withers away. Ha! It'll grow back at the opening on Friday the 15th at Kai Lin Art. For all you last-minute tax filers, I've heard the deadline has been extended to the 18th this year.

Introducing Modeling. She's a big one (24 x 36) all about the relationship between mother and son. Lots of blue hues and kisses of brick red and yellow ochre, Modeling refers to the example I present on a day to day basis to my son, who is now 4.5 and growing fast. Modeling comes intuitively and can also be an intentional presentation or idea you give your child. At least that's how I see it.

Recent events in Anton's life have rocked our family to its core. Having discovered weeks ago that Anton has sensory related issues surrounding Sensory Processing Disorder (fuck, I really hate that word! Not Fuck! I love the word fuck. Disorder is the word I dislike because it puts a negative connotation to a unique set of elements.) Why does different have to be negative?

You can already see the inner dialogue I am having with myself. These days, I am trying to let them (my issues) all come up and present themselves to me without pushing them away.

So, back to Anton. He's a strong-willed, sensitive, loving and confident young man. He's amazing. My greatest teacher. Two months ago the preschool he attended asked us to leave because of Anton's sensory outbursts. I had made several deep connections with faculty and staff there and we all loved it. They tried and tried to give Anton what he needed but there came a point where we all realized a change needed to happen.

So POOF, my son was home from school every morning and we had no place to go. I had a speech therapist and an occupational therapist working with Anton and every week was a grueling struggle for me as I tried to process all the new info, bring some kind of order to our lives and heal the stuff inside of me that was hurting. All my work was transferred to the weekends as Anton and I spent all day every day together.

Then one day we found Colleen, an amazing and intuitively gifted art student who decided to accept the part time nanny ad we placed. She comes three mornings a week and plays with Anton while I work. Now I've got time to feed myself, so then Anton can get fed. The production of the Flora paintings pumped into fruition and then somehow, all the OT stuff we were doing for Anton kicked in.

There stood a boy who knows his body, who can look at the Incredible Hulk and say, "Mommy, look how high his engine is running. He needs a brushing!" Anton is progressing in leaps and bounds. Next month we have him evaluated at Coralwood and hopefully placed there for the Fall.

During all of this transition, I tried hard to feel and accept everything that came to me. I was angry. Tired. Hurt. Frustrated. Overwhelmed. Bewildered. Ashamed. And then I thought, FUCK, I am modeling for Anton an anxious and afraid woman. Do I really want to show him that's the best he can do? The best he can expect?

So I stopped. And told myself that there was NO way I could do this perfectly. I saw the Black Swan (with my dad - NOT a good movie to see with your dad! and if you don't know why, go see it.) and the moral core was all about the pitfalls of perfectionism. We met with a PhD who told us Anton was lucky to have two right-hemisphere parents. He told us we were capable. And that our biggest hurdle to overcome was not Anton's "disorder" but our own fear. He said, "Enjoy him. Enjoy him or you'll miss it."

And suddenly, with that statement, it was possible for me to digest the information his OT (Kate Drummond of About Play (amazing person) was giving us and do it intuitively, from my heart as his mother and friend, rather than from a place of fear.
And then things began to fall into place.

I realized I didn't have to do all of this well or correctly. That I could care without obsessing. That I could ride this wild ride and that every step was made for me.

All of this reflection to me is a blooming flower. I am blooming. Anton is, too. Our realizations are happening between us - this shared experience of growth. My god. My GOD. God gives us the child we need to have.

One flourish in this painting is mimicking the other. Mirroring, modeling, blooming. Anton and I make track together in more ways than the literal. He's fascinated with trains and wheels and cars and tractors and I spend so much time drawing roads with him. So you see here and in a couple of other paintings roads, dashed lines, tracks that twist and turn. It's a painterly calligraphic element, it's a train track, it's my life.

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