On Finding Treasures

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Finding Treasures, 8×10 Acrylic on Gesso Board

I did this painting a couple days after the “snowpocalypse” and the temperature was back in the sixtes.  Ezra and I had been boarded up inside for days, and finally I could acquiesce to his pleas for “ous” (translation: outside).  We spent the morning on the lakefront, climbing, roaming, exploring.  There’s a tiny beach, maybe fifty yards long.  Ezra loves to find rocks in the sand and throw them into the lake.  You can’t see it, but in the painting he’s holding one of his many treasures– a rock he will later throw into the water.

The weather was perfect. He’s wearing his hoodie probably because it was so cold a couple days ago and my brain can’t quite let go of it,  but bikers and joggers wear less than that. Unless its summer, Louisiana folk can be seen in a confusing array of clothing.  My friend Rebekah wears a hat and scarf if it drops below seventy and my dad is good with just a sweater vest in the forties.

We had a perfect day today.  I’ll admit that I don’t always love being a single mom.  I’m often filled with an overwhelming sadness that will strike me without warning on days like these.  Families, children with moms and dads flood the newly-warmed lakefront, and I carry the diaper bag, push the stroller and chase a toddler.  Seemingly intact family units often leave me with feelings of resentment, anger, and, most of all, an abundant sense of absence.  But not today. Today my treasure was my boy, and I was reminded of the gift he is to me.  Because single parenting so often feels like a burden.  It is this child who makes it possible to wake up each day and start again– diapers, meals, games.  He keeps me from crumbling, from giving up.  Because he is a gift.  A treasure.

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

March 17, 2014

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