Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tessy's Rainbow

Last year, when she was in first grade, our middle girl painted a rainbow in art class. At the end of the school year, she came home laden with nine months worth of posted work, memories from a year that will linger in her mind for a short time, and then get buried under second grade. The paper products become a kind of memory scraper, that will serve her later on, when she will find them and say "Oh yes! I remember that!"

We are not the most nostalgic of parents, Bill and I. We toss more paper treasures than we should, ironic...as we are avid "junk" collectors. But late at night, when going through her first grade mementos, we stumbled across the rainbow.

"She made this?" he asked.
"She made this." I said.

A testament to a happy child. The perfect, normal, rainbow arc. The yellow sun, the clouds, and even rain (underscoring her awareness of yin and yang, smart little chicken!)

We framed it. It is a secret trick, framing your children's artwork. When we were newly married and sorely poor, we did this a lot. I grew up with an "artsy" mother. I know the importance of lamps, house plants, sheer curtains, and walls covered in all sorts of art.

So everything even remotely lovely and created by chubby hands was placed in second hand frames and hung. As we got older and more affluent, most were replaced with other sorts of paintings and vintage posters, (we are collectors, remember?) but... some stayed. Like this one painted by my oldest when she was seven:


And this one:
Oh wait. That one is mine. I can't actually believe my husband hung that up. The painting thing was a fleeting hobby. I stick to writing now, thank GOD. ;)

Anyway, we need to find a place to hang Tessy's rainbow. It can't stay on the piano forever. But we seem to leave it there, almost as if hanging it up would put it away. Putting away Joy? I don't know about that. Maybe it will stay there for another year. Until we go through her second grade things, and find, hopefully, another one.

XO

*I never do this but these pictures belong to me and mine and so I hereby shout: copyright Suzanne Palmieri 2009*

19 comments:

  1. that picture really is evidence of a happy childhood. i've seen so many that aren't. kudos to your parenting. :)

    jeannie
    The Character Therapist
    Where Romance Meets Therapy

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  2. Love the rainbow and love the idea.

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  3. Your painting is beautiful, such happy colours, just like your daughter!

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  4. For all the mistakes we all feel we've made in life, when you see your child's happy rainbow picture, at least you know you must be doing something right!

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  5. It's all lovely artwork (even yours). I love going through my kids stuff at the end of the school year. I've never thought of framing any of it, though. Great idea!

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  6. It looks like you have a family of artists! I love that she remembered to add in the rain. Very clever.
    I actually think it looks nice on the piano, but I've been known to keep stuff in some strange places so what do I know?

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  7. Love your art! What a talented family!

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  8. What shouts at me is the vibrant color and joy in all these pictures you shared. 'tis grand!

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  9. Tessy's rainbow is beautiful....and I am sure you can find a place on any wall for it, actually the happiness it expresses looks lovely right where it is....later she may like it on her bedroom wall. There will come a time that you will look at it and say ah I remember the time she was so happy, so keep it in a wonderful place to remember as the teenage years are soon to come....and there will be days of rain and rainbows. I quite enjoyed your very own painting as well.
    Great post my friend, have a wonderful day.....:-) Hugs

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  10. Beautiful. A few weeks ago my son shouted at me to come up to his room, he was supposed to be in bed, so I told him to go to sleep, but he insisted. "Please! I have something to show you!" I stomped up the stairs and he grabbed my hand and lead me to a window. "Look, Mommy a rainbow!" And sure enough there was a full rainbow in the sky. He was so excited and it was one of those little moments that I'll never forget.

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  11. The framing is a great idea, and it will be a unique way for them to get the work back when they are older.

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  12. You don't give yourself enough credit! That's a beautiful painting!

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  13. Such a pretty rainbow.

    Such a good mom.

    When I was little, my mom called me Messy Tessy. Do you ever? (to your daughter, I mean. It'd be a little creepy for you to call me that..hehe)

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  14. great story. Beautiful picture. I see a little more than a rainbow in this. I may have to go through my black file cab tonight. :)

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  15. ALL! Thanks so much for your comments!

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  16. I always try to hang up my kids paintings and creations. I want them to know how proud I am of them as well as let them have their moment to shine. I'm so glad you hang up your children's things too.

    p.s. I thought your painting was pretty.

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  17. Awww, that is really cool. I will have to remember this for when i have little ones. They look really professional and artsy! :o)

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  18. Wow, that rainbow really pops out of that picture! I had only one child, so I was able to save way more than most, and we both love going back thru them three decades later. I posted on an artwork that my grandson gave me on a Friday's Favorites, a butterfly made out of his feet imprints. I framed it and put it on a wall shelf, and when he saw it he said "wow, mawmaw, I didn't know you liked it that much!" I don't think he was thinking 'wow, I must be a really a good artist', but was honored by the fact that I had put it in with other of my 'treasures'. Never underestimate the value of those scraps of paper!

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