Out, Out Damned Yellow Spot: Painting is Like Parenting Part II

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My painting is like my parenting: sometimes so glorious I feel tempted to write a book about it, sometimes so painful and frustrating I wonder why I keep trying day after day at all.

My son’s pre-k assigns dots to each day in the calendar he brings home in his folder. Blue means great day. Green, good day. Yellow? Let’s just say the chart says yellow means “lost in the woods” (they’ve got a camp theme going this year).

We’ve been lost in the woods for a few days now, and every time I think we see an opening, the trees seem to close in front of us or the trail we thought was leading somewhere just brings us right back to our sad little campsite, a dying fire and a cold night about to descend. Too dramatic?

I worry too much about yellow dots.

I wish I knew how to convince my four-year-old that telling the truth is best, that he has to be quiet when others are talking, that he can’t go around knocking over lunch boxes.

But he, like me, I suppose, is a work in progress. So full of life and energy. So obstinate and assertive. So convinced of the truth of things he doesn’t know couldn’t be.

This painting, I kid you not, started as a big yellow dot. I thought it was going to be an abstract ode to the trials of parenting. It turned into spring flowers that I happen to believe are some of my best. The painting wasn’t painful or tortured. The strokes came easily. The colors worked without me having to pull out any of my hair. I didn’t even bleed.
I’m waiting for my little guy to come out of the woods. Into the sunlight where I know he’ll bloom. 


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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

April 6, 2017

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