Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Painting by Numbers

Paintings stick to the walls with blu-tac, brushed strokes by a little girl 's hand. The imagination of a child portrays a shore with orange sand, deep blue sea and a pale blue sky. A large yellow sun shines in the corner, pointing its rays on the white horses that gather in salty water. Another picture paints a message of love; a three letter word, "mum", sitting underneath a big green heart. Precious and sentimental, given to a mummy by the daughter who loves life, embraces everything around her, drowns herself in thought. Personal items; a reminder of a child I once knew.

Where has that little girl gone? The little hands that drew and painted and held my hand for protection. Where did the cuteness and the giggling and the innocence go? When did I wake up and notice the little person no longer existed? When did the will to paint and the need to draw vanish? How old was the child when she ceased being little? When did I suddenly assume it was okay not to ask for a hug before school, or help with socks and shoes, or insist she wear gloves? When did she suddenly grow up?

The memories remain on my wall. They live on in my heart. I can see the little girl when I look at old photographs. Sometimes, I even see the little girl reappear, when she's feeling poorly and needs mummy. I want to reach out and hold her hand; rock her in my arms; snuggle against her warm, clinging body and nuzzle my head against her soft hair, smell the shampoo and the soap and the remnants of paint. Where did those years go?

She still needs me, but perhaps I need her more now. Perhaps my need for her is more nostalgia than necessity, or maybe...maybe...I want those childhood years to stay etched in my mind, afraid if I let go I will forget. Time goes so quickly. Hold onto it with both hands and paint a picture that your mind will cherish forever.


  1. This made me well up, Kathryn. Hugs.

  2. You never lose that feeling how ever old and independent they get. I'm still a little girl to my mum - she's 90 and I'm 62!

  3. Frightening how quickly the years pass isn't it? Thankfully I have 3 children so am trying to savour every moment with my cute, loveable, huggie 9-year-old son. My girls are similar to Amy's age - 13 and 12 - no longer wanting hugs and apparently know everything there is to know! Mummies are always needed though, just in a different way. Hard to get used to sometimes, isn't it?

  4. lovely post... So heartfelt. The years do whizz by don't they?

  5. I am 62....and I have no idea where all the time has gone to.....
    Nothing like your baby needing you!

  6. it all happened so quickly I hardly feel I took the time to really breathe it in. Just to have one day back. Just one.

  7. I just loved reading this post.
    I am feeling the same over my youngest granddaughter who is suddenly changing from being babe. It started when her two front adult teeth grew back!
    Nostalgic sigh.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  8. This really struck a chord with me. As you know, my son is now 18 and we suddenly realised that our kitchen was still decorated with some of our favourite paintings and the welsh dresser was home to painted cups and saucers, dishes and pots! They were cosy, told a story and were just 'part of us.' But ... the time had come for them to go - it seemed a bit daft to still have them on show and we'd possibly got to the point where we no longer even saw them.
    It broke my heart to peel them off the walls, remove from shelves, and tuck safely under my bed but the time had (well and truly!) come to move on!
    I now have just two 'extra special' paintings in frames and our house suddenly looks 'grown up'!
    We will always have our memories and, even though those paint stained fingers no longer threaten our walls, we'll discover new challenges!

  9. I feel just the same - they always need you! Mine are twenty onwards, the need has matured, but the love is still just as strong! x


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