A Rollercoaster of Creation

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In case you haven’t heard yet, there is this beautiful place on the Interwebs called The Daily Create.  It has quickly become one of my favorite places, and has become a wonderful excuse to take a creative break out of my days.  I’ve found it’s refreshing, and I’ve come to look forward to seeing the new assignment hit my inbox (as I’ve subscribed to it by email) every day.  Of course, this week, I learned that it can also betray me a bit if I’m not careful.

Monday

The instructions were to make a picture of anger, or something that makes you angry.

Pure anger

This email came to me as I was sitting on the couch, feeding a baby.  This is the baby of one of my best friends from high school – it is an absolute privilege and joy to get to watch his child.  I truly cherish it.  And of course, I’m already well aware that babies cry.  So when this one started to wail, 2 seconds after I nonchalantly opened my email from TDC, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself, exit out of my email app on my phone and switch to camera.  I was laughing while I snapped the shot.

Don’t think I’m horrible.  I made it all better for him seconds later.  It’s just that I’ve come to see all babies as beautiful miracles, and even when they cry, I tend to think it’s adorable and beautiful.  Not that I don’t occasionally want to pull my hair out when I can’t make them stop or when I exhaust myself while trying.  But I digress.  I thought it was neat how this daily create unfolded right in front of me.  Such a tiny guy, so full of such innocent anger.  And he probably had no clue what he was angry about. :)

Tuesday

We were asked to whisper a message of hope by candlelight or flashlight.

I know, this may have been in bad taste.  But you don’t understand.  I had thought about and had my moments of remembrance for the victims and heroes of 9/11, off and on throughout that day.   But I was also going through a bit of a tough time of my own at the time. Minute as my troubles are in comparison to the tragedies the day called us to remember, they were real, nonetheless.  My dear, wise, wonderful, beloved husband responded by bringing me home piles of various forms of chocolate.  I was hurting from the pain of despair of several kinds, and he brought me hope by chocolate.

So while I understand that I probably didn’t respond to the instructions as maybe was intended, I responded in a way that was relevant in my own life that day.  And this is my story to tell, after all, is it not? Hopefully it brought some smiles to some, and didn’t offend too many.

Wednesday

This was a fun assignment.  ‘Sidewalks are great for people watching. Make a photograph of a sidewalk scene today.’

Sidewalk School

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I homeschool my son.  Based on my experience, you’ll either think I’m awesome now that you know that, or you’ll hate me and completely dismiss everything I say as crazy talk from here on out (if you haven’t begun to do so already).  I also watch that adorable fuzzy little 2-yr old seen in the picture sometimes, and for him, I use a simple curriculum designed to introduce him into simple handwriting concepts appropriate for his age level, and to familiarize him with letters, numbers, shapes, counting, etc.  It really doesn’t matter how old the child (or adult) is, reinforcing a lesson with chalk is powerful.  So here’s a little glimpse into my everyday.  Teacher by day, student by night – that’s me. :)

Thursday

Draw a picture of something you miss.  Ah, betrayal.  There you are.

Chloe

In retrospect, I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wished I’d drawn a picture of a wheat plant, since I can no longer eat gluten.  Or maybe a set of stairs, to show that I usually miss the last step.  Or maybe something sharp, to say I miss the point.

But this coming Monday (tomorrow) is the 1 year anniversary of the due date of the baby that I lost, and that has been weighing a bit heavily on my heart lately – bringing the initial grief of the loss back to me in full swing.  That little person who should be a part of my life now, who I should be making a beautiful 1st birthday cake for, who I should be complaining that she’s growing way too fast and spending way too much money on clothes for and getting no sleep because of – I miss her, and I have to in some way pay her tribute.

I know many wouldn’t consider a miscarriage the loss of a child, and the concept of ‘missing’ someone who was never here may sound absurd.  But I’ve found that the same mother’s instinct that drives me constantly, daily to care for and do for my kids, doesn’t exclude the one who is not here.  I still start to claim appropriately-sized clothes on Facebook yard sales for her, and have to delete my post in shock before hitting send.  I still feel like she should be in the back seat and I should be checking on her to make sure she’s smiling.  I have these moments all the time, and I have no logical explanation for them.  I used to think that the drive I feel as a mom to care for her kids was linked to a woman’s tendency to fret.  But losing this pregnancy has taught me just how deeply spiritual the tie between a mother and her children truly are, and just how intense her need to care for them can be.

So in spite of the fact that I know it makes no sense, and regardless of how happy and fine and well I was moments before one of these moments of remembrance hits me, they still strike me in full when they come, and they are no less real today than the initial desperation I felt when they couldn’t find the heartbeat on the ultrasound.  We didn’t ask for the testing to verify that she would have been a girl, either – she had already become Chloe Grace to us before we lost her, and we had no doubt that was who she was.  And we can’t mourn for who the child would have been to the rest of the world – those any among the living can only mourn what their loved one was to them.  So that is what we do.

Painfully honest, unabashedly open as it is, she’s what I miss.  Happy would-be birthday to my baby girl.  I still miss you.

Stupid daily create.  You weren’t supposed to make me cry. :P

Friday

Take a close-up photo of an object with unique texture or pattern; make us guess what it is. Alright, now we’re talkin.  This is much better.  A game? Via the Daily Create?  Yes, please!  I had a ton of fun deciding what to take a picture of, and guessing others’ submissions.  Here’s what I finally decided on.

Cool Bumps

Get it??  ‘Cool’ bumps??

Cool Bumps Zoomed Out

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I never promised not to be cheesy, though. I like cheese.

Saturday

Make a short video that teaches something, anything.

Anyone who stuck with this video to the end got a treat.  I love my little man.  I so much more love seeing him on camera than me.  Maybe I’m just being one of those annoying parents who can talk of nothing but her kids.

But maybe I love them with all I’ve got, and I just don’t care.

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