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Mother’s Day Paintings, by Lisa Schloss

Mother’s Day was quickly approaching. With safety precautions in place due to the virus, it was looking like there would be no family visitations on this special day. As a mom, that did not feel right to me. I was determined to help the special girls in our care feel connected to their moms and be a blessing. It began with a question: “Do you girls want to surprise your moms and send them something homemade for Mother’s Day?” The question was greeted with a unanimous “Yes,” and ideas began flying!

After much internet searching for ideas of homemade Mother’s Day gifts, the girls eventually settled on a canvas painting of roses and an “I Love You” message. They were excited to get started and were already planning their mom’s favorite colors for the paintings. This is going to be great, I thought!

Step one, gather supplies and choose the canvas size. Easy enough. Step two, settling in to watch the nine-minute tutorial on how to create the painting. That is when things began to fall apart. Fears were vocalized like “That looks too hard,” “I can’t do that,” and “Can I pick something else?” I knew that they could accomplish the project if they put their minds to it, so I stood firm, encouraging them not to give up.

After explaining the purpose of the tutorial was to walk them through the process step by step and letting the girls know that they could control the speed by pausing the video after each step and replay sections of it if they needed to, the girls bravely agreed to give it a try. Over the next 3 days, the girls persevered through each step. As they created the different layers to their paintings, the girls were unsure that the paintings would turn out to be as pretty as they had hoped. I knew that regardless of how “well” they did, both of their paintings would be absolutely beautiful in their mother’s eyes. Each day they sought and received reassurance that the paintings were going to turn out well.

After the final brush stroke of the words I Love You were finished, they sat back, still unsure and questioning. One student looked at me and said, “Be honest Miss Lisa, is this any good? Do you really think my mom will like it?” As I looked into her young eyes which yearned for approval, I wondered how I could help her to see that her mom would love her painting more than she could ever understand. The girls set aside their fear of failure and persevered through something from start to finish. After their paintings were dry and ready to be mailed, they let me take their picture, and I could see they were proud of their accomplishment, and excited to send their finished works of art off to their moms. On Mother’s Day, both girls were able to FaceTime with their moms, and they saw for themselves the overwhelming joy that the beautiful paintings—and the love the paintings represented—brought to their moms’ hearts!