When Amara was three years old, she drew her first portrait of me. And from her masterpiece, I had created a necklace (that I wear to this day).
Two years later, Amara painted this.
I was so impressed by the watercolor. Perhaps it was because she's my daughter so of course she's talented. Or maybe it was because I can hardly draw a straight line let alone paint an urban landscape. Whatever the reason, I loved it enough to frame. It proudly hangs in my home office.
For four years, no one ever took notice of the painting. But something about it always appealed to me. In the midst of my suburban environment, sprinkled with alpacas farms and minivans, I think her skyscrapers and blacktop road reminded me of a place I wanted to be.
I'm a city girl. I always knew that. And when I had a taste of the urban life in college, I decided then and there I could have no less.
But as I sat in my four bedroom, three bath home, on its wooded lot in a nice, quiet subdivision, I think Amara's painting comforted me. It reminded me that the city wasn't out of reach. I may not have taken that road, but the detour always gets me to my destination. It just may take longer.
These days, I realize just how important it is to pick and choose your battles. So when possession of this painting was questioned, I did the unthinkable.
I let it go. <sigh>
I cry thinking about it. I hate that I won't get to see her watercolor hanging on my wall.
But I now know Amara and I don't need a picture to remind us of a road not taken. We are now able to take whatever road - or opportunity - we choose.
Plus I have every Christmas ornament Amara made by hand since she was in preschool stashed away. So take that
Lessons learned. Take the road you want. Choose the battles you fight. And keep your ornaments. Life is much happier that way.