Mail Art: the story of mother/daughter bonding

Today my kid came home from her dad’s after being away for 5 days.  She is almost 12 and at this age we seem to be butting heads more than anything so the time away from each other was laced with blessings.  Last night I did start to miss her.  As annoying as her incessant obvious questions are and her strange child behaviors drive me nuts, there was definitely something missing in the household.  Adult time is great, but being a mother has always given me a sense of purpose that keeps my level of responsibility in check.  I hold myself accountable for how she turns out in the end, because I’m supposed to be giving her the tools of life.

She came home and recounted her fun week with her father which included lots of Magic battles, visits with friends and family, and a trip to see FUN in concert.  We chatted and then she just wanted to watch TV.  I felt slightly unimportant, but had reminded myself that this is the age she wants to move away from me, not get closer and god damn it I was going to have to get used to giving her space.  She sat watching Adventure Time and I quietly moved my mail art supplies into the dining room to work on them.  It took several trips and she looked over at my set up and asked if I was doing mail art and could she do it too.


I did my best to hold in my excitement over her choosing me over the television.  I grabbed her some cardstock and old magazine pages and let her go to town.  She wanted to listen to music. Gasp! And on her own she chose Johnny Cash. Gasp!

At this point I was ready to pass out on the floor from surprise.  We sat talking.  She constantly asked me if what she was making was ok.  I explained to her that mail art or any other art is about personal expression and though as artists we hope that people like and understand what we create, we shouldn’t dictate how we express ourselves to please them.  I told her art is expression and personal passion.  It can come out through painting or writing or music.  It is what we create when our heart is speaking to us.  I told her it doesn’t matter if I think it is good, only if her heart does.  I told her there is no way to get it wrong.  She smiled at me and we sat in silence listening to music and busied our fingers gluing and cutting and coloring our art.

Then as all good things end up, she got bored and drifted away back to her usual mode of everyday living.  I’m happy for what I received today…for the little bit of light shed on what we still have between each other.

Here are the fruits of her labor:


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“Pokerface” by Chloe Drehmer


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“Fear Me Mutant” by Chloe Drehmer


Here are the fruits of my labor (this was my second session with them):


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“Old Ghosts Finish First” by Aleathia Drehmer


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“Fin-Limb-Wing” by Aleathia Drehmer


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“Dinner Will Be Served” by Aleathia Drehmer


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“Nothing is Ever Safe” by Aleathia Drehmer


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“When the Light Slices Through” by Aleathia Drehmer


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“In Your Face” by Aleathia Drehmer


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“Checkmate on the Prairie” by Aleathia Drehmer



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