Sometimes when I’m wandering through a thrift shop, I run across something that falls outside my usual inclination toward collecting vintage and antique; something I find special – not in its history, but in its tremendous creativity, individuality, and most of all, in its delivery.
This paint and marker on felt struck a particular note because of the profound empathy I felt for its creator, a fellow victim of a very messy child.
Now let me make this perfectly clear… when I say “very messy”, I am being an incredibly awesome mom. Because entering my youngest daughter’s bedroom is a truly disturbing experience.
From the littered threshold to the desk now unrecognizable beneath graffitti-like layers of spilled make-up and loose cash, sketch pads, hair bands, books and camera gear, my youngest’s room is ever-strewn with stuff of legend; like a bedside pile of whittlins’ she left behind after carving a stick into a snake.
Her creativity spills over everything and pays no mind to anything.
Her world lies atop half-full cans, half-eaten plates and crusty coffee cups, topless pens and broken pencils of every imaginable color, dried out mascaras, piles and piles of dogeared paperbacks, and a crazy carpet of homework and artwork, shoes, clothes, cords and wrappers.
Think Shabby Chic Crack Den.
Where blankets from around the house, scissors, cups, spoons and scotch tape regularly disappear into the abyss; requiring occasional search and rescues, a hazmat suit, and a text to my husband requesting back-up if not heard from by 0900.
In order to maintain a relatively conflict-free relationship with my daughter, I enter under only three circumstances:
1. When forced to locate an object;
2. To ensure neither she (or the cat) have disappeared into the abyss; and
3. When I feel obligated to prevent it from being comdemned.
It’s been close on that last one, especially after opening various food containers over the years; tightly sealed, weeks-old vessels of seething, fuzzy, fetid lifeforms that would make a Navy Seal weep.
And is precisely why this heartfelt, homemade and patriotic plea found a very sympathetic admirer.
Sadly, it’s carefully crafted message proved utterly ineffective. Except as a cherished reminder to always keep my sense of humor.