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Play/Collaborations with My Son

As cliché as it may sound, my son is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Apologies to my husband, but he would agree—our kiddo takes the cake for both of us. I never realized how challenging it could be to balance parenting and work. Explaining to my son when he was smaller, why Mommy has to go to work was tough. The heartbreak for both of us when I left and the joy when I returned were intense. Hearing "Mommy, you're home!" followed by hugs and the instant demand to "Play with me, Mommy," sent us off to play with his trains, cars, or Minecraft (on peaceful mode).

On the flip side, some days, especially through the demands of work and life all I want is a moment of quiet. The incessant "Play with me, Mommy" can be frustrating. There's so much to do, and playing is the last thing I have energy for. I get irritated, then guilt descends. I think of families who have lost their children due to illness or violence and realize how lucky I am to have my little boy. Guilt also comes from knowing that one day, he'll grow up and won't ask me to play anymore.

Instead of dwelling on the guilt or letting irritation take hold, I've started making artwork with my son. We play with watercolor, crayons, pencils, markers, and his toys. Once everything is dry, I work back into the drawings we make together with stamps, ink, markers, and other mixed media materials, reflecting on his words as I work. This way, we both have fun together. I get to teach him about one of the things I love most—art—he gets to be creative with me, and when the collaborative part is done, I have my quiet time when he's asleep to process my thoughts on life as a working mom and my feelings about the world he will grow up in.

Chasing the Years

The pandemic was a hectic whirlwind of anxiety, where time sped by and then slowed to a crawl. What it did provide was ample time to reflect, and revisit the memories and moments that have made life, at least my life, what it is. Too often we rush ahead, as a society, chasing whatever it is that drives us-- for some people that is fame, money, power or escape. Rarely do we reflect on what was, or just take time to live in the moment. 

"Chasing the Years" is an autobiographical series which explores the passage of time and the role of memory. Images taken with my cell phone serve as snapshots from my point of view, of all the moments that make up every day of my life-- from moments of intimate quiet, to the repetitive daily grind. From the significant to the mundane. 

Each image is worked, and reworked, sanded, layered obscured and revealed in such a way as to attempt to preserve the moment. By the same process, however, the integrity of the memory is compromised, as the images become disintegrated with each new layer, echoing how memory fades over time.