Musings on Paintings and Parenting

Posted on August 31, 2011 

If I had to choose one piece of fine art that best describes my parenting life it would be The Scream by Edvard Munch. You know this painting. It is the one with a person standing on a bridge at sunset. The figure’s mouth is wide open in a silent scream with their hands pressed against the side of their face.  

Oh yeah, baby, there it is.

My son launches into his 1,289,603rd diatribe about why we should just give him a car.

I am The Scream.

I have to have three kids in three different places at the same time. Oh, and can we stop and give a soccer buddy a ride, too?

I am The Scream.

I look at my son’s grades on line. The child who has been reassuring me “I don’t have any homework” did have quizzes for which he obviously didn’t study.

I am The Scream.

Two years until we have to start paying for college.

Eye rolling, heavy sighs, mumbling, bad language, and airs of entitlement.

Protests by sweaty children that they do not “need” a shower.

Realizing some of the coursework I have laid out for my son just isn’t going to work.

Gymnastic routines in bed often resulting in elbows whacking into my head during our quiet reading time.

A refrigerator full of food but complaints that “We don’t have anything to eat!”

The yo-yo effect of kids who are supposed to be in bed, but keep popping out for a glass of water, to use the bathroom, to retrieve a shirt they won’t need until morning, to put a dirty dish into the dishwasher, to tell me I need to return a call that they took a message for 5 hours ago.

Complaints about helping with a single, simple chore.

Yes, I am The Scream.

My fine art parenting goal is to leave The Scream behind. I want to become Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent was able to see beauty and wonder and capture it on canvas. His piece evokes a sense of calm, joy and possibility when I see it. And he was able to do this looking out the window of his insane asylum. Trying to find and create beauty, wonder, calm, joy, and possibility in the midst of insanity… Now that is a parenting goal worthy of aspiration.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service