Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Celebrating Joys and Achievements...

This is the season of birthdays in our household. By the end of the weekend, I will have celebrated the birthdays of the 3 most important people in my life... my husband’s, Erin’s and Bethany’s all in a matter of 20 days!!! The older that my daughters get, the more I am in awe of their potential and absolutely baffled at where the time has gone. I can dig out my journals from 11 and 7 years ago when I thought that I would never sleep the night through again in my life and have to chuckle at some of the things I scribbled in the dark during a 2 am feeding.

Last Friday was also report card day and both girls had absolutely spectacular report cards. As I wrestle with the recent wave of copyright infringements and ask myself why I ever wanted to try such a risky and vulnerable way of earning a living, I know that one of the reasons that I chose Art over Emergency Medicine (both were very strong callings and both tempted me as careers) was because I saw art as being an easier way to balance earning a living with raising a family.

Real parenting, the type where you actually spend time with your children and help them acquire the skills they will need to succeed in life is incredibly demanding. No wonder so many adults who have children spend most of their waking moments scheduled to death or wondering how to squeeze more hours into a day. While designing cross stitch, doing freelance graphics, illustration, copy writing, translation, voice over work and prepress work for the past dozen years hasn’t been exceedingly lucrative, it has let me be home when the girls get home from school and spending time with them to get homework done, provide enrichment opportunities and tutor them in reading or French. If that means that several hours of my own work gets done after they go to bed, so be it. They will only be with me for another decade or so.

It is simply amazing to watch how they are growing. Erin was so disgusted with the state of the playground now that the snow has melted, that she organized a group of kids to spend one outdoor recess picking up trash instead of playing. They filled a whole garbage bag from one small area and then the school rewarded all the students who took part with a “RRR ticket” (the school focus is reason, responsibility and respect) Bethany stayed calm when one of her friends got hurt on the playground this week, went for a teacher and then stayed with her friend at the office until their parent could arrive. When her friend got worried about an X-ray, Bethany calmly explained the procedure that she’d been through for her arm when it was broken and made a Get Well card as soon as she got home.

Could the past 12 years have been more lucrative for our family if I had stayed in advertising? Probably. Would it have been as rich in other ways? Probably not.

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