Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Mother and Artist's Heart, Overflowing

I wasn't ready. 

At least, I thought I wasn't. I had commissions to finish, and a myriad of other painting projects that my stubborn mind thought needed to be completed before you would be allowed to enter this world. But, having inherited your mother's tenacity, you decided to do what YOU wanted to do... and that was to arrive twelve days early.

All the anticipation, education, and testimonials from other moms couldn't have prepared me for how I would feel when you, Cecelia Joyce, were placed in my arms. I thought I wasn't ready. But when I finally got to meet you for the first time, there was no looking back. I was completely smitten! That first night in the hospital, they tried to lay you in a cold plastic bassinet. I missed you when I wasn't holding you, and felt complete as soon as I scooped you back up and took you into bed with me. After all, you were a part of me for nine months. I couldn't revert back to my independent old self that quickly. I need you as much as you need me.

I can't stop studying your perfect little features - the abundant head of hair, the button nose, the beautiful little ears, and the world's poutiest lips that Daddy will have to guard from all the boys who will someday try to kiss them. Your fingers and toes are long like your daddy's. Your eyes and nose are shaped like mine, and those eyes are blue. Ultramarine blue with just a touch of white and ivory black. 



Cecelia Joyce Bain, born May 5, 2014 at 9:59 a.m. - 7 lbs, 2 oz.

Cecelia, you have been born to an artist. You might be embarrassed of me someday, but I hope instead you are proud, because your mother taught you how to look at the world. You will not spend your days letting treasures slip by - no, you will crane your neck to watch the flock of mallards flying overhead. You will linger in the woods when the scent of plum blossoms fills your nostrils. You will stop to study the premature bud of a wildflower, and delight in the radiance of one in full bloom. You will savor the cadence of a Beethoven sonata, and smack your lips over a home cooked meal.  You will learn to delight in the finer things: the great books, the best music, the timeless art. Furthermore, you will recognize the God-given beauty in each soul that you encounter, and it will give you the capacity to forgive, empathize, and love. Yes, there are ugly things in this world, and I will do my best to protect you from them all. But I also know that you must recognize ugliness in order to truly SEE beauty in all of its glory.

Your grandpa sent flowers on the occasion of your birth, which happened to coincide nicely with Mother's Day. Someday you'll get to know Grandpa a little better, but here's the thing about him: he is rough on the outside, and a complete softy on the inside. He loves his girls with all his heart, and he already loves you. He has never sent me flowers before. When they arrived and I read the note, I cried. "Have a happy first Mother's Day," he said. "I know you'll be a great mom." Then he honored my mother by saying, "You learned from the best."



Since you sleep a lot, you were very accommodating and allowed me time to paint this bouquet. Someday, Cece, this little painting will hang in your room and it will remind you of your birthday, of Mother's Day, and the family that already loves you very, very much.


"First Mother's Day" - a painting for Cecelia Joyce
12 x 12"
Oil on linen glued to board


(detail)

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