Marla, my friend, was frustrated that her well-behaved 3 year old had taken a red dry erase marker and colored all over the place. “Red” she mused. “Why did it have to be red?” all over his arms, his toys, and most frustrating the newly painted walls. My mind traveled back; back to California in 1995.
My parents were forced to sell my childhood home. Dad had been out of a job for a long time, and we had to go, so we were packing. I was now an adult, helping out mom and dad. Mom was bawling. I said to mom, “It’s just a house mom. It’s not going to be our home anymore. It’ll be o.k. We’ll make a new home.” Those words have haunted me repeatedly for the past 14 years. My understanding was so limited.
Mom and I stepped into the now converted living room. A wall had been knocked out of my childhood bedroom. We started removing furniture and there it was! We found the memory right behind the couch. It was crayon. It was on the wall. It was the coloring contest that mom could never bring herself to paint over. My brother and sister and I had been quiet in my bedroom. Mom knew we were up to no good. She came in to find us beaming with pride. We weren’t afraid of mom; we wanted her to judge whose picture was the best. She proclaimed Adam’s “Superman” the most creative, but immediately complimented his younger sisters on their handiwork also.
And so the story goes. Mom knew how to love kids. She would never break a tender heart over some crayon. A wall was never worth it.
I now have three little ones. Mom’s wisdom is always with me. I am not as patient as her, but I want to be. I try and keep my walls clean because I want to have a nice home. But, honestly, when all is said and done, I want my home to be a place where I raised character, not wall perfection.
It’s my dream. I want to build a home where there is a room just for writing on the walls. This home would be a place where kids would feel loved. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It just needs to be “home”. I want to carry on my mom’s legacy. I want to be a mother who creates a fantasy world for each tenderhearted child. What a dream.