|One of the custom made items I noticed for sale in the shop today.|
Some years ago now, one of my sons and I took a trip to a distant town which had a number of art shops along its main avenue. I remember that trip as if it were yesterday. My son had been homeschooled and was transitioning through community college before going on to university. He spent a lot of time on that trip talking to artists, welders, blacksmiths, and business people. I didn't know it at the time but he was carefully considering his occupational options before choosing a major in university. I wondered if he might come back and work for one of the many people with whom he had spoken that day. Later that year, my son transferred to a university in order to study sculpture and extended media. At the time, we were concerned for his occupational outlook, but we were also consoled by the fact that the art school itself was quite competitive and because those accepted into the top rated program for sculpture and extended media were even fewer. Someone has to make a living in the arts, I told myself. "Have some faith" were the words which somehow played in my head.
Years passed quickly and many things happened within our family. We built a new farm, and moved our family to a very rural area. Both of my parents passed. Our youngest son tragically and unexpected passed shortly after my father. Two of our children graduated with honors from a highly rated art school and entered the work world in the middle of a recession. Two of our children battled serious chronic diseases. I often wondered how we would weather all the challenges that seemed to have befallen us. Still, I heard "Have some faith".
I have been busy lately promoting my third book and first novel. I have also been pinch hitting in caring for my infant grandson while his mother works. The time does not seem to have passed as quickly as it must have. Of course, my most important works on this Earth are not occupational ones, but the five children my husband and I raised and helped to acclimate to the world.
Today, I returned to that same town I mentioned at the article's beginning. My son has not returned to work for one of the shops there. Today he and his beautiful wife, also an artist, opened their own shop on that same lovely avenue. Every detail within the shop was perfect and it quieted all my private maternal concerns for their starting a speculative venture in an uncertain economy. As I looked down the street, it seemed almost unchanged from our first visit, now thirteen years ago. I am so proud of all they have accomplished. Their friends came, some of their relatives were there, some of the people who knew them professionally also were present. I wondered if my father and my son who has passed found a way to be there today. The mayor, the newspaper, and an employer of theirs also came. After the festivities, I walked out to their parking lot and entered my car with a solitary tear in my eye. Where this son is concerned, my job is done. My son and his wife are doing things that I never taught him and that I have no idea how to do. I do so hope and pray this business is successful, I thought. Once again, I heard, "Have some faith."