Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wanted: brush strokes

I am painting the trim, doors, and windows at my house. I love painting houses. It doesn't take long, isn't expensive, and the change is very dramatic for very low cost. I painted houses for a living for a short while before I was married and have done a little painting on the side since. My parents worked a while as house painters too.

Trim takes time. There's so much little work to be done. I use a long handled small paint brush- the kind artists use. Although I roll out walls and use a large brush designed for house painting for the doors and windows I really enjoy the tiny detail work around he glass and top and bottom of the trim. I like the look of the brush strokes so I intentionally leave them in when working with anything with gloss. They look so real and unashamed of being there although most people would not notice they are there. It's part of that window sash- part of that frame. I don't even tape off the glass! I let the drips run a little. I like that about painting windows- mistakes onto the glass are very forgiving. I know I can take a razor blade and get rid of any places the brush touched it. The glass is completely transparent and doesn't hide the accidental paint smudges nor the dirt and cobwebs even after having been painted. I don't think people are like that.

As I have been painting - maybe it's the fumes- maybe it was the heat- maybe it's the time alone- I have been thinking and almost at the point of tears lost in thought about these windows and how people are. I don't think anyone would ever accuse me of being "fun" and my children definitely don't know me as "the fun parent." I have never been that although I wanted to be. When they were little we spent time together by working together. There was always things that needed doing and they needed to know the value of hard work and they also needed to know working wouldn't kill them and they could stand back afterwards and feel that they accomplished something great, even if it was only dishes. I wanted them to know that houses do not run themselves and that human beings need comfort and there's always someone who has lugged the vacuum and mop and bucket around making sure their people have that comfort. When there is no one to do the background work, the up front things are not accomplished or if they are they might feel overwhelming when the up front people have to also do the background things. Trim is a background thing. Most people don't even think about it but it frames your view out of your windows and doors. So that is one way I have tried to show love over the years to my family- by making our home a place they could be themselves. Now, I see all of these memes that say happy children live in messy houses. Maybe. Perhaps they just are allowed to make a mess because someone will clean up after them. Someone has to wipe the fingerprints off the walls. Chaos is not a happy home in my opinion. I'm not talking about after the birthday party or when there's been an illness or a move or....I'm talking about every single day stuff- you can't cook if there are no clean dishes to cook with or eat off of. So, here I am, business as usual, and it hits me: I was not the fun parent. I am still not seen as "fun." Probably I was not the fun sister, not the fun child, not the fun friend, etc... All of my hobbies have been production hobbies of some sort. I make things.

Right now it's popular to be a DIYer but when that is over I will still be making things. I have done things that would benefit the most people- knitting socks, gloves, hats, baby blankets, etc.. Making quilts that warm people.... baking and cooking because my people have to eat so I learned to do things. I even learned new ways to get laundry clean! I turned those jobs into a game for my children and talked about these things like they were on par with reading a book of fluff, watching a movie for fun only, eating cake, and general goofing off. I played video games to spend time with my family but that was always really why. I have always been willing to do whatever people need to have done. Here are some of my brush strokes and there is some smudges of paint. I think deep down, I have done all of this for the good of other people but also because I have wanted to be needed. I know, most people want to feel necessary, but I think more than that I wanted to be wanted. Not just feel loved, but actually wanted. At the end of the day, when I am needed, I am tired. I wasn't also wanted. Just needed. Most of my relationships are all business. Family members know they can count on me to get things done so I don't get calls asking how I am doing without there being someone needing something. If asked what do I like to do I could honestly not answer that question right now because I do all the things but for all my people. What do I like? I have no idea. I think that's why I appreciate house painting. I don't have to be creative. I don't have to think. It is a pleasure only to my eyes to see the changes and the brushstrokes make it personal. Maybe I paint myself into the house. Who knows? I don't know, that's for sure. I do know that sometimes I just want to be wanted for me. Not for what I do or provide, but for me. Isn't that what everyone wants?