My car stinking of acetone nail polish remover, and my eight year old son weeping in the back, I realized yet again the complexities of parenting. When I first discovered his drawings a few hours before, I was enraged.
Black Sharpie artwork all over the third row seat. A mustached pirate in a big hat holding an A- paper on the leather headrest. A large A+ on the side of of the car. “You are awsom” and a smiley face just below on the plastic armrest. Two eye balls peering out from the back of the middle seat. How did I not feel those eyes watching for an entire week?
I wanted to cross out “awsom” and replace it with “dead.” Or correct his spelling.
There will be no trading-in the red minivan, but I am not alone. Other mothers have suffered the same misfortune, stuck with old minivans because of the sins of their children. They offered remedies. A few pointed out that his artistic message was at least positive. No bad words. No sad faces.
And here he was unrepentant, sobbing that I had erased something he had worked so hard on and that made him happy every time he got in the car. His own little sanctuary that lasted for a week.
And so I stared, wondering which parenting path to take, and eventually patch-working together a response, likely muddied by too much nail polish remover.