I won! I won an artist residency in southern Italy. I have actually done this residency before 11 years ago. Something that made it really special this time is that I got to take my son.
My son has been raised in the art studio, so naturally he’s always been around artists and creativity. I was super excited to be able to share this opportunity with him, but also to watch his reaction to being in such a foreign place.
My son loves to paint, but I’ve noticed in the past few years he’s starting to lean more towards the musical arts. He took instantly to the drums, and I want to support any creative endeavor.
On our way to Europe, I took him to the off-Broadway show of Stomp in New York City. The energy of the show was intense and for two hours he was completely captivated. Actors made music out of ordinary things like trash can lids, signs, brooms, etc.
On the first day of the artist residency, I jumped at the opportunity to run to town with a few other artists because it is the only place to get art supplies, snacks, etc. My son stayed behind at the residency with a few other artists (he was tired of sitting in planes and cars).
When I returned back my son had created his own Stomp set up. He found random things such as pans, a grill, poles, etc. that would make noise if it was banged on. Pans were hanging from trees, and everything was arranged around him like a drum kit. He gave me a solo concert when I got back. I was in complete awe.
The best part was, watching everyone else react to him throughout the week. Children from the nearby village came and went. However, the children didn’t speak any English and we don’t speak Italian.
Despite the huge gap in communication, it took no time at all for the children to figure out how to communicate and play. They spent hours making up songs on the Stomp set up. They painted, they played hide and seek, and figured out how to play lots of other games.
As I was painting, I looked up and realized in that moment as I watch my son play with the other children, that my dream of motherhood was a reality. If I had become a mother, I always envisioned it involving cultural experiences and travel.
My son laughed and played with the other children under the Italian sun. My heart suddenly filled with so much love and recognition that tears ran down my cheeks. I watched for a while as I realized that my dreams have become a reality.