This morning I had a thousand things I thought I would write about. But now I really want to snuggle up with a good book and go to sleep. But it’s May. May, the month of Mother’s Day. For Mother’s Day this year, I decided to give myself some time. I wanted to use that time to think about my own stuff, not kid stuff or house stuff or work stuff.
I was looking through some paintings the other day and I noticed that Mary Cassatt plays with merging the faces of parents and children in her portraits. I remember a long time ago I read some analysis on her portrait of Alexander and Robert Cassatt. The faces overlap and merge communicating the son’s desire to grow up, move into his father’s place, become his father and the father’s desire to impart his position, knowledge, and opinions (they’re both looking at a newspaper) to his son. But I didn’t realize how often Cassatt plays with these parent-child mergings until looking through a complete collection of her work here.
And that’s why I decided to try to give myself some time. In my stage of life and in my circumstances, parenting feels like Cassatt’s 1880 pastel “Mother and Child”. Intimate, golden, beautiful, but so immediate it is difficult to find where I begin and end. My own self seems so invested, blurred and Merged with those around me that I appreciate taking a few moments to pull my head back and find my form.