Today we did some painting together. You had a wonderful time. You knew all the colours and held the brush like you’d done it a hundred times before.
Except here’s the thing – today was the first time you’d done any painting and you’re two (and a bit). Cue mummy guilt.
I loved watching you today. I was amazed how this simple project enthralled and calmed you. You were a picture of concentration as you placed the colours on the page, keeping up a running commentary for your audience. I loved the simple, yet profound truths you declared – my favourite was ‘Daddy loves my painting’. I happened to be on the phone to Daddy at that very moment and he heard you. He told me you were right – even though he hadn’t seen your artwork, he already loved it. But you knew that.
Every now and again I would pause to take a photo, or just to watch you work. You would turn to me and hand me the paint brush, and firmly instruct me to continue. I loved how you would ask for a new colour when the old one had finished, informing me each time that you loved that colour. My favourite part was watching how serious and earnest you were as you painted your hand blue. You turned to me when you’d finished and grinned triumphantly at me with eyes as blue as your hand, announcing ‘my hand messy!’
Nothing could dampen your enthusiasm, not even your baby brother waking up. I was able to bribe you away from your easel to wash your hands with promises of Play School and another painting session in the near future. My heart was simultaneously filling with love and pride and breaking for you.
I’m so sorry that I haven’t done this earlier, my love. I could justify my reasons for not doing it with words like ‘rental property’, ‘carpet’, ‘no outdoor space’ and ‘return of bond’, but they’re a bit big for you to understand (sometimes they’re too big for mummy to understand too). But you don’t need my explanation. All you need is my emphatic YES when you ask if we can do more-more painting. I promise I will do my best to give it to you.