Thursday, June 20, 2013

The End of an Era

This is kind of a sad day for me. It's the end of an era. An important piece of my life is coming to an end, and it's making me a little emotional, even though I always knew this day would eventually come. I know that things are just things, and there's no reason to become emotionally attached to them, but in this case the thing in question is something I created, so it means more to me than it probably should.

See, the thing that is going away is a mural that I painted a little more than four years ago, before we had any of our chaotic kids running around, making life interesting. We were expecting our first, the Girl, to arrive at any moment, but at that point we weren't sure if she was going to come out with girl tiddly bits or boy tiddly bits. We had gone in for an ultrasound twice, but both times the Girl was too shy to show us the stuff, so we weren't sure. If we had known what we know now, we would have realized that if a fetus is too shy to let you see anything, she's probably a girl. But, we were too naive to know that then. So our house was filling up with all sorts of green and yellow baby clothes. You would have thought we were Green Bay Packer fans (I almost gagged while typing that!)

I had never lived with a baby before, and really knew nothing about them. I wanted to do something special for our soon-to-be baby since I was very unsure about my actual parenting skills, so I decided to resurrect my almost-defunct artistic skills, and paint a mural in his or her room. I had huge plans to paint the entire room, from corner to corner, with a fun montage of all the things I held near and dear: fishing, golfing, sports, and the great outdoors. It took me a while to finally dust off the old paintbrushes, so since the due date was getting closer and closer, I decided to keep my mural to just two of the walls in the room.

The first thing to do was sketch everything out. It took a couple of hours, but I got the whole design sketched out on two adjoining walls, and soon I was off to the races with my paintbrushes. A week later I finally got the first, and thankfully shortest, wall done. The due date was a few short days away now. I didn't want to get the second wall only partway finished before he/she arrived, and I definitely was not going to do any painting in that room once he/she arrived, because, even though I was not well-versed in parenting, I knew paint fumes are not good for a newborn. Also, by that point, I was completely tired of painting. So I called it quits, and made the Wife paint over my penciled sketches on the other wall. Hey, she's a much better wall painter than I am, so it was better that way. If you want to see a bunch of brushmarks on the ceiling, let me paint a wall. If you want a nice clean wall with no drips and no brushmarks on the ceiling, have the Wife do it.

So, my first, and probably only, mural was finished. It was a pond scene with lots of trout, a bunch of minnows, a fun duck, and even a crayfish. Oh, and a turtle and some snails, too. It was fun, I was pleased with it, and our new baby's crib was going to give him or her a bird's eye view of it all. And, in the four years since I painted it, all three of our little hooligans have slept next to it. It's been a fixture in our babies' lives.
No more fishies. Sadness prevails.

But, now we are selling that house, and everyone says it will probably sell better without the mural. The Wife is over at that house right now, covering up my masterpiece with some Dutch Boy paint that matches the other three walls in the room. I volunteered to stay here at our new house to put the kids to bed, only because I knew it would be too emotional for me to see my mural being painted over. I suppose whenever any artist paints a mural, they should probably think that some day it won't be there anymore. I knew that 4 years ago, but it doesn't make it any easier now.


  1. I'm sorry that the wife wife painted over your mural. There could be some symbolism operating here; I don't know.

  2. Thank you, Anonymous, for your comment. There very well could be some symbolism, or maybe she just flat out didn't like the mural. More likely is that we all thought the house would probably sell better with a normal wall than it would with a mural. If we left it as-is, it would probably have been more difficult to find a mural-happy buyer. Ahh, but there will be other houses, with other walls that will be begging for a mural, and I will be happy to supply one. Or maybe one mural in my lifetime is enough. We'll see where life takes us.