Tuesday, February 16, 2010
(Above, Maia and neighbor Anna coloring)
So, I'm not really the artistic type. But in the last few years, I've had plenty of opportunities to rediscover things like coloring with crayons (and markers and colored pencils), painting with watercolors, making playdough sculptures, building with blocks, and so on. I've even made a few pictures lately that were kind of decent (at a three-year old level for sure, but maybe even like a twelve-year old level). Maia was impressed... right before she improved them with a little coloring of her own. Otherwise, maybe I would have taken pictures of them and posted them on my blog. :)
A few months ago, Maia's artwork started actually looking like things - often it even looked like what she said it was. This was very exciting to Jeff and to me. In the above picture, Mary and Elizabeth stand in the sunshine with "flocks of angels" around them. Maia drew this picture about a month ago, so she's actually improved since this one. She and I had a funny conversation about whether or not people's arms protrude from their heads. ("Those are very long ears," I said. "Mom, those aren't ears, they're arms!" "Oh, do most people have arms coming out of their heads?" "No, but... where should they go?" "Maybe you could try drawing bodies, instead of just heads with legs and arms.") Now most of her figures have dresses that cover the legs extending from their chins. I think it's one step closer.
Well, of course, it couldn't be too long before little sis decided that she needed to start coloring too. So Eva's career in art commenced in the last month. Before being handed a crayon, her only coloring had been on Maia's doodler, where she could never figure out which way to hold the pen to get it to write. Crayons were a big improvement, since they write on both ends! Although Eva doesn't put quite as much time yet into her artwork, it has become an everyday activity. She seems to have mastered back-and-forth lines.
She's also figured out how to break the crayons in half - a nice occupation when the coloring gets boring. Just don't tell Maia!!!
Monday, February 15, 2010
When I was a full-time doctoral student and a full-time mom, it was really, really tough. So tough that at times I would chastise myself for thinking that I could do both at the same time (and be satisfied with my performance). But whenever I reflected and thought... if I could go back... I remained in the same spot. I wouldn't choose not to start my doctorate. And, more importantly, I certainly would NOT choose not to have had Maia.
Now I have a slightly different musing. I've had a shift recently, so that I'm much more a full-time mom and only really a part-time (dissertation-writing) doctoral student. No assistantship means no "working" in addition to schoolwork and taking care of kids. Sometimes I wonder... what do those full-time moms that aren't writing dissertations do in the evenings when their kids go to bed? I like to idealize the possibilities. They probably endlessly read novels and other books for fun, spend time with their husbands, watch basketball on television, chat with their family on the phone, catch up on household chores, participate in social organizations and Bible studies, or maybe even go out with friends.
But then I think... would I really be happy if I wasn't doing something academic?
And right now, the answer is no. This is the end to every muse of this sort. I conclude the idealizing and dreaming with being glad that I'm (still) pursuing a doctorate.