Every single one of them has done it at least once. Every single child of mine who can wield a crayon has used it in an unauthorized space, covering a table or a dresser or a wall with exuberantly scribbled lines, letters, and swirls.
This time, it's the inside of the pantry, and she actually hid herself behind the door to draw there. I don't know how long she's been doing it, but I've just discovered it. Although she needs correction and redirection, I'm tempted to leave the artwork where it is, because it reminds me.
It reminds me that this could have been a very different life...the one where I put on my carefully ironed blouses and heels and headed to my office every day, the one where I had meetings and working lunches and soaked in the sounds of NPR news on my commute instead of the sounds of laughter and clashing light sabers in my kitchen.
I nurtured other people's children then...took them out for lunch, brought them to my house for dinner, sat with them in church, put their artwork on my refrigerator because I loved its cheery brightness. Now, when I stumble into the kitchen in the morning and grab the creamer from the refrigerator on my way to the coffee pot, it's my children's artwork I see covering the door, all bold and bright and carpe diem before my eyes are even all the way open.
It was easy to think in all the years we waited and struggled and prayed and cried that there might never be any children's art hanging here. If I think back, I can remember how it felt, wondering every month if the door was going to open, wondering if we'd ever get the baby we wanted so badly to call our own, wondering if the voice on the other end of the phone would ever have good news. Two lines on a stick, or a baby in need of a home, or word that our foster children had become adoptable...I would have gladly walked through any of those doors in my quest to become a mother to someone.
I love their art. I love their impulse to create. I cover the walls and doors of our life with it...put it up on the pantry, the back of my bedroom door, the inside of the door to the laundry room. Maybe it's not so different from our own desire to create, to bring life into the world so we have someone with whom to share it. We teach them their colors, and they cover our walls with crayon masterpieces. Maybe this is just how God made us.
On days like today, when they're up before dawn and beating on my door while I'm still dragging my reluctant body from bed, I remember that this life is a choice. A gift.
(Even on days when they won't let me shut the bathroom door.)
For more Five-Minute Friday, head here.
Five-Minute Friday is a chance for word lovers everywhere to release the pent-up words we've been accumulating in our brains all week and let them flow freely for five minutes, without over-editing or backtracking. When we're done, we share our thoughts over at Kate Motaung's blog, where a whole community of writers is waiting to encourage each other. Come join us, won't you?