Allowed to Stay Home From School

d3cda326a18e88aa25ef6653ae2f3ff7 Artist Lisa Martin, famous for her highly detailed and romanticized pictures of children.

While growing up my mother occasionally allowed me to stay home from school when I’d burned my bridges at both ends. I didn’t have to fake an illness if I asked to have a day off.  I never took advantage of my mother in this matter, grateful for the ‘time out’ she  allowed. When I look at Lisa Martin’s painting of this charming little girl reading in bed, surrounded by her favorite things, it connects me to memories: propped up in bed, comforted by my things, sleeping and catching up with myself. My mother’s understanding of what was needed was an act of love. If I close my eyes and return to the bedroom of my childhood, to high school days when a busy life could be exhausting, those times of playing hooky were sweet and cherished….my mother standing by. I, in turn, extended that possibility to my children when needed. Why do I feel the world was a gentler place then and children were allowed to be children? I’m thankful that was how it was for me. If you would like to see more images of Lisa Martin’s art work you can link to my Pinterest board of her work.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
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4 Responses to Allowed to Stay Home From School

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Lucky you were to have such a mother who was well-tuned to her daughter’s needs. Nice childhood memory.

  2. Barbara Williamson says:

    Lisi’s work is very reminiscent of Tasha Tudor’s illustrations. So lovely just like an unexpected day in bed. Maybe as adults we should say to our inner child, “Yes you can check out for a little while.” What a great idea. Love you Stepheny for your gentle insights.

  3. Thank you Barbara, you would have enjoyed my Mom though Norman W. was a large presence and up staged her, I suppose. But, never for me. I like to say I got the best of both of them. Appreciate your feed back.

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