How Outside Art Helped Heal the Day

Yesterday I still felt the same sad heaviness that I wrote of on Monday’s blog post. In fact, I spent some time lying on the carpet in our bedroom, crying and praying, after lunch. Yesterday, I struggled with parenting, with being quick to give grace instead of quick to get annoyed. I felt as though I kept stumbling, apologizing, and then I’d snap at the boys all over again.

But then, after some of that lying-on-the-floor crying and praying, I roused myself and got cracking on an art activity that I’d wanted to try with my sons this summer.

With old paints and an older sheet, Woodrow and Garfield and I found a shady spot in the backyard and made a colorful, intentional, giggly mess. We used paint brushes, but we also used our hands and feet to make designs on our canvas.

painted sheet

Those big feet prints? Not mine; those belong to Woodrow. I hope that we can use this as a summertime tablecloth. If I need to wash it, I imagine most of the paint will come off in the washing machine. Then we’ll take it back to the grass and smear paint on it all over again.

This activity didn’t actually rescue the day, but it certainly helped us hit the ‘reset’ button. The breeze, the fresh air, the ability to be uninhibited with the paint…it was a kind of therapy for us all.

Then I came inside and baked banana bread. When my little family and I left the beach vacation last Saturday, other family members had left behind 3 mostly brown, mostly mushy bananas. I have a strong aversion to wasting food, so I brought those bananas home with us. I knew they’d make great banana bread. I think that would make a good motto. Instead of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” how about “when life gives you squishy, brown bananas, make banana bread.”

Art therapy, baking therapy, crying and praying therapy:  I recommend it all.

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