CHAT (Center for Hmong Art and Talent), a local non-profit has one of the best names for an after school program I have ever heard–“Art Saves Us.” I love this name, it feels good just to say it and it smacks of truth. Young people can participate in any number of specified programs ranging from break dancing and rap to writing. During the course they will create their own masterpiece to perform at the end of class.
As adults art still saves us, but I believe it comes in different forms. I am no longer considered youth, some may still consider me young adult but I am steadily moving out of that category as well. Last night I went to my brother-in-laws surprise 30th birthday party. Next year it will be my turn. My sister-in-law who is the same age says that she is just worrying about 29 and isn’t ready for 30 but I am there. I told my mom, “I already accomplished what I wanted to in life so bring on 30.” My mom acted surprised and said, “You already accomplished what you wanted to?” I said, “Well yeah–I’m a mom.”
It may sound simplistic but while I have gone off on occasional tangents this has been my goal. How lucky I am to find my soul mate whose life goal was to be dad. Of course we would love a farm, we would love to continue working to change the world through the local good supply, I would love to write a book, but when all is said and done the children are what saved me. They saved me from myself, from perpetually (and futilly) looking for the next thing that would bring me happiness, whether it was the next purchase or project or honor. I have discovered the more you seek to make yourself happy the more you need to be happy. Simple things are harder to find pleasing.
There is an art of raising children, the art of giving fully of yourself. If you can embrace that everything else in life will have a simple, unsurpassed beauty. Of course there are other ways to learn to give fully of yourself, but few rival the demands of child rearing. I have my soul mate by my side, we have a challenging and fulfilling career together raising 3 (soon to be 4 children) and for me nothing else really matters. Bring on 30!