Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My most treasured works of art....

Years ago, before I had children, I would sometimes dream of what my future house might look like. I would look through Pottery Barn magazines, or Better Homes and Gardens, making note of features or decorations I especially liked, and would envision my “perfect” home. Each room would have its own distinct features, yet would blend effortlessly with the flow of the rest of the house. Impeccable taste would be demonstrated with just the right accents, decorations… and works of art would create an unmatched but sophisticated and organized sense of style.

Well, its fun to dream…but the reality is that my dream house would require endless sources of money, and a 24-hour on call housekeeping service to keep it looking the way I envisioned it – neither of which are accessible to me.

Three children (and another on the way) later, I look around my house now….at any given time, scattered about the floor are no less than a dozen different shoes, papers, books, toys, crayons, etc. The refrigerator and walls of my children’s rooms are plastered with drawings, art projects, birthday party mementos, $0.39 souvenirs, stickers… the list goes on. There are no valuable paintings or pricey decorations, and any accents that exist (pillows for the couch, cornices for the window, table runners, curtains, and wreaths for the front door) were all hand-made by me. It’s certainly not comparable to my Pottery Barn or Sundance catalog, but it’s our home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And today, two more priceless treasures were added to our collection: painted figurines that my boys picked out and painted at “The Artful Potter” as a birthday surprise for me. My oldest, age 5, came up with the idea completely on his own, but graciously allowed his 3 year old brother to tag along on their outing with my husband a few days ago. I knew where they went, and that they had painted something, but beyond that they didn’t reveal a thing. A few days later, after the figurines had been glazed, we received a phone call that they were ready to pick up - and the boys were thrilled!

I’ll never forget the look on their faces this afternoon as they each handed me a wad of scrunched-up newspaper with the instructions to unwrap them carefully.

I don’t think I’ve ever loved a gift more. Could anything be more valuable?