Climbing out of the aptly sized Celica, we look like a band of clowns. It made sense, then, to take advantage of the face painting offered by our community Mother’s Day craft gathering and truly look the part.
And as usual, I was in awe of the exceptional ability of the chosen artist to transform vague generalities of “evil clown,” or “dramatic two faces” into identifiable masterpieces. I mean, I’ve bought face paint kits before under the misguided belief that I could paint a face just as easily as I can a paint on canvas, but never does my final product resemble my indended look.
It’s amazing to see the personalities of our children reflected in their masking choices. My youngest, the tiger, is a bundle of action, a pack leader, and a ferocious opponent of wits. He’s calculated. He’s agile. He’s bold. My eldest son is still searching for his identity. He’s working to re-establish himself in a new school environment and to secure his place in this new family unit. He’s not sure whether to succumb to the pulls of teenage independence or to continue being a dependant child. Frankly, he’s stuck in the incongruity of the expected and the desired and it is hard on all of us. My singular female sensation is a hormonal time bomb. She’s intelligent enough to dwell amongst older people and shares in their conversations with ease. She’s emotional (often) and has no idea what her feelings mean or their source from one moment to the next. And she is equal parts nurturer and narcissist. And like her baby brother, she is intuitive and makes plans. My five year old is shy. He’s lost his status as youngest and hasn’t figured out how to play big brother. So he hides. He silently observes. He ponders.