Candice Buttons

The Painted Girl

I used to fancy myself an artist. I would have never been obnoxious enough to call myself one, nor did I ever presume to be particularly good. None the less, I loved art, and did something about it. I lived (I thought I wrote ‘loved’ here. EXACTLY!) to paint, and sketch, and colour, and cut, glue, sew, write. I was a girl, with paint in my hair.

These days, I am a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love every single second! But I never thought I’d be a Mom that starts to lose herself. I haven’t yet, but the fear has set in.

Earlier I was scrolling through my younger cousins Tumbler account, and it dawned on me that I am much more different than I realized (and not all in the good ways). When I was young, and babysitting her, I used to think I was a pretty cool role model. I never smoked, I rarely drank (even now), but more than that I was cool. I loved art, and music, and being myself. I wasn’t afraid to express myself. I suppose I’m still not afraid, but I seem to have stepped away from the ways, most familiar to me.

Recently I knocked out some sketches of my best friends wedding dress (so she can frame them in her room) and I couldn’t remember the last time the pads of my fingers were grey. Do the paintings in my son’s room really represent the last time I smoothed acrylic colour onto canvas? Were cloth diaper prefolds and liners the last thing I broke out my sewing machine for? As I write this my brain searches for the memory of bits of thread, on the spot pattern pieces, the hum of the machine, the smell of the iron.

I was thinking that maybe I misplaced my artist, but I haven’t. I foolishly organized her, and put her away neatly into a drawer with a label on the front. I cleaned her up, so that I could get everything done. I never take her out, because I can’t fathom cleaning the mess. The mess I loved so well.

So, to the 5 year old with paper all over her floor, the 9 year old with the poetry written in her journal, to 18 year old Candice with the book full of sketches, to the 25 year old that designed and sewed her own wedding dresses, to that girl with the paint in her hair: The drawer is open. (try not to make too big a mess!)

xxo

C

Oh sweet Sharae, how the tables have turned. In this matter, you are now my role model. Thank you for reminding me of myself.

18 year old Me-Prom#2. I made this dress and necklace (and the one my friend wore) overnight, without a pattern.

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