Sometimes I'm a Crap Mom: Lessons in Paint ...

The thing about blogging is that it paints a picture.  And like any picture, there are shades and textures underneath the final print that will never make it to the surface.  No matter how transparent the paint, not everything can shine through.  So what ends up on the blogger's canvas is most often the author's perceptions of what he or she wants to highlight most at a given moment.  

Depending on the day, I can be driven to write about the ordinary, about the tragedy, about the hilarity.  But I rarely write about the ugly.  And I was thinking today that readers might be fooled into thinking that's because there's no real ugly in my life.  Hopefully will come as no big surprise that there is.  I just don't like to highlight it.  That's not what I want to commit to memory, nor what I think my audience of four want to spend their time reading about.  

Instead, I often use the ugly as the primer on my canvas.  The tragic, funny, boring posts I publish are often underscored by ugly.  Those ugly moments often stop me in my tracks and make me refocus on what's going on, if that makes any sense.

Like today.  I'd been invited to do a video interview mid-morning by one of my absolute favourite bloggers.  I was so honoured, but really nervous.  Smilin' Vic wanted to help me prep so I wouldn't be such a wreck sitting in front of the camera.  I kind of shoved him off as he gave me his thoughts on some of the potential topics she might cover.  I walked away when he joked that if she asked ''So what were you looking for in a husband'' I should answer ''Awesome pecks and endless stamina''.  But once the interview was over, I realised how lucky I am to have someone in my life who's truly excited about every opportunity that comes my way.

So that ended up being the picture I felt like painting today.  Not of the bearded, sleepy-eyed husband in his pyjama bottoms who was making stupid jokes at 9 a.m. this morning, and the grumpy ugly me who was outright ignoring him.  What ended up shining through for me was that the time he took to make morning coffee and joke around with me actually did get me smiling, and eventually got me to stop taking myself so seriously.  

Then there's the incident with my daughter when I got home from grocery shopping later in the day.  The one where I was a really crap mom.  The one where I was rushing to put away the groceries, to get the chicken into the fridge before salmonella made its way into our kitchen.  As I crouched in front of the fridge, trying unsuccessfully to find space behind the jar of olives for the 4 litre bottle of Heinz ketchup, I could hear Kiddo repeating ''Maman?'' from the dining room.  

''WHAT?''  I screeched from the kitchen, my bottom in the overflowing veggie drawer trying to squeeze the broccoli in so I could finally shut the door.  

''rumblebumblesosoftlyspokenthere'snowayIcouldhearyouifyouwerestandingrightnexttome'' she answered.

''WHAT?''  I hollered again.  ''I can't hear you and we have to hurry or you'll be late for the birthday party at four.''

''It's ok.'' she shouted back.

I finally managed to get the vegetable drawer closed by removing a sweet potato and crushing the tomatoes.  I realised I'd been harsh.  I walked into the dining room.

''Sorry, Kiddo, it's just that sometimes you have to speak louder, and you know I'm grumpy when I'm in a rush.  What were you saying?''

''Oh, it's nothing Maman.  I was just saying 'do you know what I miss?'''

''What?'' I asked.

''I miss when we used to sing in the car when you'd drop me off at school.  When we used to make up silly songs.  That was my favourite part of the day.  Can we sing in the car on the way to the birthday party?''

And just like that, huge globs of beautiful and heart-breaking splashed simultaneously onto my canvas.  But you can still see that today the primer was a bit too strong for the paint.  So a bit of the ugly is peaking through on my blog.  Sometimes that happens.  Sometimes I'm a crap mom.  But sometimes that backdrop of ugly makes a beautiful moment shine even more.  

Nothing's perfect; there's no yin without a yang.  At the end of the day, the perception will reflect only how you've decided to mix the paints.  

Welcome to my gallery, with its undertones of ugly.  Hopefully they'll help you appreciate the final product.