Happy Mother’s Day!

As you know, there are a lot of things that moms are good at.  They’re great problem-solvers, great guardians, great teachers, great breadwinners, you name it.  But there’s one thing, I think, that moms particularly excel at.

Making you feel better.

Remember as a kid how you would always turn to your mom when you were bored, sick, sad, or lonely?  Maybe your mom would cook your favorite meal when you were sad.  Maybe she would read your favorite book to you when you were lonely.  Or come up with a fun and memorable activity when you were bored.  Either way, she always seemed to know just what to do.

I recently came across a great story of one such mom.  Her name is Angie Carel.  Whenever her kids were having a tough time, a bad day, or simply needed something to do, she would always seat her three daughters at the table…and teach them to draw.

Back then, Angie didn’t have the money to buy a Nintendo, or smart phones, or any of the other devices kids always seem to be clinging to these days.  So, as Angie describes, “We always did art, literally daily.”1 It was a fun, simple activity they all could do together – and it always seemed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

That was over a decade ago.  Now, her daughters are all grown up and moved out.

But you don’t stop being a mom just because your kids grow taller than you.  No matter how old they get, your kids will always be your kids.  And there will always be times when they are sad, or confused, or lonely.

Like during the pandemic.  When most of the world went into lockdown, and everyone was forced to adapt to a scary new normal.  Wondering whether it was safe to leave their homes.  Uncertain what to do.  Isolated and sad and bored and, yes, maybe even a little lonely.

But moms, remember, always know how to make you feel better.

“Everyone was just sad and a mess,” Angie recalls.  “So, I had this idea one morning, ‘You know what, I’m going to make them draw.’  Because that’s our happy place.” 1

So, once again, Angie broke out the pencils and crayons.  She sent her daughters a text message that said, “Draw a smiling turtle.  And show me your artwork this evening at 7 p.m.” 1

Dutifully, her daughters did as they were bid.  That evening, they all gathered once again to show off their artwork – laughing and smiling at each other’s silly drawings.

And everyone felt better.

Angie and her family kept drawing after that, always posting their doodles on Facebook.  It looked like fun, so various friends began joining in.  Before long, Angie found herself the virtual mom of an entire online community dedicated to drawing.  Says Angie:

“I kept it going, I just kept posting [on Facebook], ‘Here’s what you draw today.’  And then we revealed our drawings at 7 p.m. and it sort of evolved into what is now the ‘Simple Daily Drawing’ group.” 1

Every day, Angie posts a drawing prompt on the group’s Facebook page.  Always light-hearted, always welcoming, always warm, her prompts have drawn quite a following.  In fact, the group now boasts over 8,000 members!  Each one drawing whenever the mood suits them.  Nature drawings, holiday-themed drawings, even abstract drawings.  Some of the members are fellow moms homeschooling their children.  Others are people with various health conditions, for whom drawing provides a relief from pain.

All are just regular people, for whom drawing – and the feeling of being a part of something – brings joy.  Because in these turbulent times, joy is something we could all use more of.

“Every day,” Angie says, “there is somebody that says how this is helping them, and because of that, I just have to keep going.  I’m not going to stop until my brain runs out of ideas.” 1

It really is true, isn’t it?  Moms always know how to make you feel better.

When we’re bored, or sad, or lonely, or confused, whether we’re four or forty, there’s no one better to turn to than those who fill the role of mom.  So, for this Mother’s Day, I want to say “Thank you” to all the moms out there.  Thank you for healing our bruises and scrapes.  Thank you for being a friendly ear and a shoulder to cry on.  Thank you for the comfort meals and the lullabies and the sage advice.  Thank you for fixing our broken toys and cleaning the stains from our favorite shirt.  Thank you for the rainy-day games and summer break activities.  Thank you for checking for monsters underneath the bed.

Thank you for always making us feel better.

And to you, I wish a Happy Mother’s Day!

1 “Thousands of strangers use this Indiana mom’s Facebook group to boost mental health through art,” CBS News, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/angie-carel-simple-daily-drawing-facebook-group-art-mental-health/