Bee is such a sweet child. She’s my nurturer and my cuddler. She loves being a big sister to anybody, having been the littlest for so long. She’s my budding chef and my baker and my child who wants to spend time with me, always. She’s pretty awesome.
But she has her limits.
Sunday afternoon, Bee asked if she could paint. She had been coveting the canvases Gracie got for her birthday from Corrie, John, and the Redheads. The painting Bee made awhile back was fantastic, but it had a lot of white space, and Bee decided she could keep embellishing on it. It didn’t have to be finished after all. So I laid down the tablecloth and she spent a good hour or two painting.
The burnt orange sky on the horizon (for so she says it was) was eventually finished, and she added some words and sparkly dots and declared it done. I took Bee’s painting that she was so proud of and placed it outside on the table to dry in the sun. It was hot, and the sunshine was plentiful. It would dry quickly, I assumed.
And then we all forgot about it. It wouldn’t have mattered except for the teeny tiny matter of there being a giant deluge Sunday night. The wasn’t a drop of rain in the forecast, but that didn’t stop the rather intense thunder and lightning that woke us all up and sent Jeff and I scrambling for our phones at 3 a.m., checking the radar to see how intense the storm was.
I wasn’t thinking about the painting then. In fact, it wasn’t until we were driving to work – still in the rain – that the painting slowly surfaced in my brain. It was outside still. And it had poured all. over. it. I was doomed.
Bee was gonna kill me. She poured so much work into that painting. Not just Sunday, but over spring break when she had painted the original cityscape. Her heart would be broken when I told her. I immediately started thinking of ways to tell her that wouldn’t involve her dissolving into fake okay-ness (to save everyone’s feelings even though she was broken inside) or a murderous rage. It didn’t look good.
I had to let Gracie in on the plan, partly because she heard me gasp and saw the blood drain from my face when I remembered where the painting was. When she and I got home after work, I immediately went outside to scope out the painting. I was sure the water-based paints would be smeared all over my patio table and the painting itself a runny, soggy mess. Instead, what I found was this:
The painting was fine! It was a trifle wet, but that was all. Nothing to see here! I smuggled the painting inside, to dry it on the washer for a bit. Bee didn’t even ask what it was doing there after I picked her up from After-Care.
I don’t know which gods I need to thank (of sanity? of sensitive children? hmm…Greek mythology doesn’t cover this one in any of the stories I’ve read…), but I was thanking all of them I could think of, just to be safe. No one needed to know that I had forgotten the painting outside as I wing this thing called motherhood one day, one hour, one activity at a time. But Jesus that was close!