Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Leaving the nest for a bigger nest...

Way back in the day, before Pottery Barn Kids and such, when my wife and I were outfitting my young son's bedroom in a robot and space theme, we had a hard time finding robot-themed artwork. So I made some, and then I made a whole lot more. It's exciting to me that in the interim, more ways to find other robot/space art have appeared and grown. There is a lot of great robot-themed stuff out there.

Now, as we prepare to leave the tiny abode we have been in for the last 3 years, one of the things we are looking forward to is a bedroom for each kid. So we need some new artwork. I leave those decisions to my wife, and it just so happens that when I told her I had decided I wanted to do some new bird collage prints, she told me she had decided that our youngest daughter's room would feature bird art.

Our kids have lived for quite some time now within pinching and kicking distance of each other. It is my hope that these close quarters created a closeness that my kids might not have had if they had spent that same amount of time in the, "everyone with their own space" arrangement of a newer, larger home. I know that I am looking forward to everybody being able to separate when needed. I think most of the chaos in our home comes from the kids not being able to get away from each other.

So...why birds? I've already created a lot of bird art, and there is plenty of great bird art out there. Why am I suddenly drawn to birds again?

Well, here's what I think is happening. I really do think ideas find me, rather than I come up with them in a vacuum. Sometimes it's a response to what's happening in my life, sometimes it has to do with my affection for something.

If I look at what is going on in my life: We are leaving our little house, our nest if you will, for bigger digs. My girls will sleep in a room by themselves for the first time in their lives. They are growing up, and we are pushing them out of the nest they have known for so long. It's just a tiny push, but it's a push just the same. One girl, the younger, is excited to have her own room. The other, our middle kid, is excited too, but a little nervous about being by herself at night.

My oldest kid, my son, is a bird in this scenario, too. But not a tiny little scared though excited one like the girls. See, the day we close on the new house, I have to get over there and put up a fence and get a start on all things we want to do before we move in. It's a finely orchestrated plan that requires me to work quickly, with as little delay as possible. That same day at 4:00pm, my son's Scout Troop is supposed to go on a mountain backpacking trip 3 or 4 hours away. It is a trip he needs to go on to stay on track with advancement and attendance requirements.

He's not yet been camping by himself. I'm a leader in his Troop, so I usually attend outings. I try to stay out of his way on trips, because I know that the kid who goes on these trips by himself has a different experience than the kid whose parent tags along. I know that, eventually, he will have to go on trips without me.

So it looks like life may be trying to tell me that it's time to start pushing my son out of the nest. It certainly is setting up the scenario where I will have to decide whether or not to do it, while limiting my options for deciding against it. I would have a hard time deciding not to go, if it weren't for everything that we will have on our plate. It will still be hard to let him go.

So there you go. The whole bird thing, retro-fitted into my increasingly grown-up life. Someone asked me once why I thought people are so drawn to birds. Her theory was that we wish we could fly. My theory is that I wish they wouldn't.


Chelsea said...

Good Luck with the move!

I love birds, and always have--and I think your birds are just terrific!

Rachel said...

hello john, i love your work, i have so many favorites. yesterday i look around etsy looking for yellow things and found your yellow striped bird. i enjoyed learning where you get inspirations. your theory about people being drawn to birds make sense. My post was inpired by my best friend who flew to Canada and now she's a thousand miles away from me. She loves yellow...

i hope you can drop by if you got time.