Parents often speak of the joys of parenthood, and there are many, but there is one that most don’t speak of. That is the joy of annoying your teenager. Some may think me cruel, but despite the many people who see me as not having a sense of humor, I can actually be quite funny. My sister Marion once told me that for her I’m sort of a female Bob Newhart, dry wit that comes out of nowhere. I can be very quiet, and still at times painfully shy, but when I am comfortable with the people I’m with I open up a bit. I’ll never be the type who can dance on a table top, but who would want to see uncoordinated me do that anyway? (I’d compare myself to a blossoming flower, but at my age I think the only thing I could be compared to is something that blooms in the fall…like cabbage) I digress…My children are no longer teenagers, but full-fledged adults. It is very difficult to annoy Jessica. She is such a sunny pleasant person that it is hard to find an angle, and as a teenager she studied voluntarily. (Where did I go wrong?) I remember once finding her studying the Periodic Table of Elements. I asked if she was having a test. Her response? “No, I just thought I should know these.” Supportive and proud mother that I am, I called her a weirdo. (Just kidding Honey, love you!) Brian is now twenty-three. He is intelligent beyond words, which is really interesting since he hated, and I mean HATED school. It is my firm belief that he charmed his way through school. He is very charming. Well that and he once asked me to bake a cake for a teacher. He didn’t tell me his grade was bad and that he was buttering the man up, only that his teacher like strawberries. We fought about school from about the sixth grade when he announced that he would no longer do homework. Schoolwork was the teacher’s job, and if they couldn’t do the job in six hours it wasn’t his problem. I’m sure you know I had a lot to say about that. We butted heads through most of his teenage years, arguing about just about everything. He was so stubborn. (Gee, I wonder who he gets that from?) I fought back the only way I could, sarcasm and humor. I knew he didn’t think I was funny, but I thought I was funny, and better yet I knew it annoyed the crap out of him. (Forgive me Brian, but it was my best defense!) My favorite story, and I hope he thinks it’s funny now, is when he was into existentialism. What? I know, when he told me he was an existentialist I said, “I don’t even know what that is.” He explained that we might not really be here, that the bed we were sitting on might not really be here, that we had no way of knowing what was real. (This is where the fun starts.) “I know we are here. I know you are here. I know that because I gave birth to you and pushed out all eight pounds and nine ounces of you. Trust me I know you’re here.” He was very upset with me. “You have no respect for my feelings!” Conversation over. I thought I was hilarious. He of course did not. I knew he was searching for his identity, and maybe I could have been a little more understanding, but he wouldn’t do homework or clean his room. A mother has to have satisfaction somewhere, right? I really am sorry Brian for not taking it a little more seriously.
Today’s work is for my Brian. I love him dearly and am very proud of the kind and compassionate man he is. He recently moved out and I offered art for his new place. He is a different kind of guy, so I thought he needed a different kind of art. I knew from the onset that I was going abstract, a style which I am very new to. It pulls me way, way out of my comfort zone, because I reside in the land of “supposed to look like”, this isn’t in my territory. Abstract forces me to let go of control to a certain extent, and lack of control is a very scary place. I wasn’t exactly sure until today what existentialism was (I just looked it up), but I thought about the universe and nothingness, and what might be happening out there in the cosmos. In my vision it is darkness, bursts and flashes of light, and more stars than you can possibly imagine. This is my Universe.