I continue to learn many things the hard way as I parent my two girls, who are now 14 and 16 years old. What I find interesting is that many of my parenting lessons have helped me out as a hot glass artist. Here are some of those lessons:
1. Multitasking is a must. As all parents know, we often are asked to do 10 different things at one time. Putting together a lunch, tying a shoe, talking on the phone are all examples. As a hot glass artist, it is imperative to keep the glass hot while sculpting and shaping it, or it will crack. You also must keep turning the mandrel, slowly, at a steady pace, or you will have a droopy bead. While you are doing these two things, you change colors in your beads by changing out rods and lastly, as soon as you finish, you need to get a glove on your hand to get the bead into the kiln. Does this sound familiar, Moms?
2. If something is burning everything needs to stop until you can figure out what is on fire. This can be figurative or literal. As a parent I have had both situations.
3. Perfectionism will kill what you are trying to do. Children are human beings and are by definition, imperfect. Surprisingly, art is the same way. People love beautiful things, but it is generally the imperfections in a piece that make it beautiful and unique.
4. The unexpected can be wonderful. Let go of your plans and let life happen. The days with my children that are most memorable are those lazy days where the day evolves. My most beautiful pieces of art are often experiments that come together in unique and unexpected ways.
5. Passion will carry you forward even if you are at the breaking point. On those days where you have no idea why you said “yes” to parenting or being a starving artist, passion will save the day and get you to a better place.
Thanks girls for teaching me all these wonderful lessons. I love you both to the moon and back.