Mixed Media Artist

She’s Just A Little Girl




This is a 6″x12″ mixed media painting on clayboard. The sides are painted red with newsprint butterflies and are 2″ deep.
This painting is SOLD

This is something that I have to remind myself often. Especially when it comes to my seven-year old, I find it much easier to remember when it comes to my four-year old. I always have. I have always expected more from Imogen. When I look back on what I expected from her when she was four I kind of cringe. I guess this the curse of being the oldest and born to an older mother who was set in her ways perhaps, and had way to long to build those expectations. You know what I mean. The times when we would see children in public and think, “if they were my kids ….” (fill in the black with all of your ‘non parent’ wisdom HERE). Or, on the other side of that, when I was trying to have a child unsuccessfully for five LONG years and I would see a mother or father completely ignoring their kid begging for gum as they were standing in the line to buy groceries and I would think “NEVER! I will NEVER ignore my children, I will talk to them, I always engage them in stimulating and meaningful conversation”. I didn’t realize that they weren’t ignoring their kids they were simply WORN OUT. They can do that, you know, after the 100th time or begging for something in the grocery store, that DOES tend to happen.
This all being said, I must remember she is just a little girl more often. I know that I am a good mother, but I could be better. Couldn’t we all? I was watching TV making dinner the other day (yes, I have a TV in my kitchen! I know, I know) and I saw the worst thing I have ever seen on TV. I am not going to mention the show but it was basically about a mother abusing her child in the most horrific and twisted unimaginable way, and this is the stuff we were privy to. And the first thing I thought of was ‘ he is just a little boy’ and then I had to turn it off because it made me ache so bad that a child would have to endure anything like this from his own mother. What hope does a child in this situation have?
And as bad as this was, I have to tell you, it doesn’t have to be THAT abusive to have long-term scaring effects on a child. How about a teacher that tells a child in front of their peers that they will be getting a bad report card if they don’t start behaving? Don’t think that kind of shaming isn’t going to have a negative effect on a child. Unfortunately for the child and teacher, probably an immediate effect.
Anyway, I was just thinking about all of this when I was painting this one and I know what I have wrote it is a bit rambling but really what I am trying to say is those words ‘shes just a little girl’ were circling around my head but what I was thinking about was ‘they are just children’ and they are really delicate and we have so much power over them. We all just really need to remember to be kind.

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7 responses

  1. Hilary

    I love this one!

    November 12, 2010 at 1:40 am

  2. The worst ever ache I have had as a parent is when my seven year old (younger at the time) looked me in the eye, her face screwed up with hurt and pain, tears streaming down her cheeks, barely able to speak coherently and saying those exact words. “I’m just a little girl.”

    It’s actually a fine line isn’t it. As I listen to her and her daddy working through the bedtime routine in the next room. It’s a constant push from both sides. He expecting her to do things for herself, she expecting him to do things for her…and I want to shout through, “She’s just a little girl.” But she is soon going to be so much more than just a little girl and that is the complicated bit right. How do we honour their innocence and nurture their growth and independence? Such a balancing act. No wonder we are worn out and ignore them when they beg for gum in the checkout line.

    November 12, 2010 at 2:37 am

  3. Thanks.
    This is great Trish, I love what you wrote.

    November 12, 2010 at 3:00 am

  4. Great post, Maria. And I love the painting with the perfect title.

    The thing I finally learned about parenting is that even if i had been given a how-to manual for the first child, I’d have needed a completely different one for the second. Silly me, I thought I knew something about raising children after I had my older son. Five years later came “a horse of a different color.”

    My boys are 22 and 17 now, and each day I have to reinvent myself as a mother. Letting go a little at a time, keeping them close in my heart, now, rather than right by my side.

    So, I used to wish I had had a manual, but truthfully, I probably would have treated it like my cell phone instructions, left unread in a drawer–I’d still be winging it!

    Parenting keeps us on our toes and paying attention and realizing that each day is a new chance to get it right. And never underestimate the power of “I’m sorry.”

    November 12, 2010 at 11:39 am

  5. Maria, a beautiful rendering of “your little girl.” : ) I have thought back many a time on the way I looked at my oldest daughter (26 mths difference) and my youngest. At 3, I thought Alexis was all grown up. At 3, I thought Amanda was still a baby.

    I will put you at ease, to know that both my girls turned out just fine, LOL, despite my “mistakes.”

    Smiles,
    Leigh

    November 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    • Thanks Elizabeth and Leigh. Great to hear that I can keep trying to make it ‘right’!

      Always love to read about your families and about being a mother.

      All the best,

      Maria

      November 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

  6. Maria,

    It’s such a delight to see your work. I love the way you’ve described the background story and the feel that’s there.
    we often tend to forget being kind and giving and this is a thought provoking way to remind ourselves of the same.

    thanks for sharing 🙂

    goodluck and best wishes,

    Mariyah Nasir

    http://www.mariyah.tk/

    November 14, 2010 at 11:31 am

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