A Mother: A Curator

It’s my hardest job, to be a curator for these boys, to look around and call ART to the tape and glue, the stick-figures drawn on our bills and the mysterious videos on my phone. My sons reflect God in how they create, the constant drive to make something and call it good.

Sam and Frodo

In personalities it’s easier for me – to curate love for the strange. To see the straggly beard and the tattoo, to know how one can’t stand to wear socks and another taps the foot 3 times before entering a door. How is it that some don’t like sweet potatoes and how some can’t get enough of the white insides of an orange peel? One smells thick pink Kool-Aid every time she hears a church bell. Another collects oatmeal glasses and fills them with granny buttons. God Art is in the person and the stories lived there. Some people end each day like a line-break, a poem.

My Little Brother and his Monocle

The wind blew my hair straight up at the gas pump today. Back in the van my 7 year old said that it’s hard to not think God’s talking when the wind blows. I agreed. It’s still winter, but up the hill the dogwoods confetti the gray. Forsythia splatter paints florescent yellow in the backdrop. I take it in, the art.


I’m a curator, and I’ve decided to gather for you here in this coming season the intricacies of a Mother’s Life. I’m calling us ART – and our children and our stories, the way we word them. The rests we take, the line-breaks. The images we snap with our phones and the ones we hold as the centerpieces for our minds. The scenes that reel. The way food lands on the plate.

I make what my heart desires. Take the turquoise and the gold, the yarn, the word “ravel” – I twist them until I can stand back and see more than I had before. Isn’t that what art is? Making more of things?

What art do you make? Mother, what art do you curate?

About me


rambling (wo)man
April 05, 2013
2 Ways to Make the World More Beautiful this Christmas
December 06, 2012
Mother – your art, your Letters, your photographs
March 12, 2012
Sara Sophia Jingle
November 10, 2010
Christian Pointillism
July 01, 2010
When Peace Like a River, When Sea Billows Roll – a rock home companion
January 25, 2010
the slow cooker, the messy truth, and gratitude
January 20, 2010
A Mess, A Song, A Rock Home Companion
December 14, 2009
sailor’s delight and a classy date night, a rock home companion
November 16, 2009


Reply March 9, 2012

Oh I love that! Really, there are countless pieces of art set out in minutes, hours, days, and years to comprise a mosaic of a beautifully authentic life. So it's about capturing and valuing shades of the masterpieces they, and we, are painting.

Karen Hammons
Reply March 9, 2012

I LOVE this, Amber!! There is art in all of us AND in our little ones. And the world is made a better place when we choose to share it.

    Ashley Smith
    Reply March 9, 2012

    I so agree with Karen. Art is meant to be shared & I love this. I love you.

Laura @ Pruning Princesses
Reply March 9, 2012

Love the idea of mom as a curator. Preserving the treasure, protecting from the damaging elements....right now, that is a description of the life I lead. But I know that job is temporary.

Kiki Malone
Reply March 9, 2012

I ain't no mom, but I'm trying to curate "art" in my classroom at times. I'm trying, on a regular basis, to throw new images and ideas and possibilities in front of their faces. Some days I walk them through my own interactions with these things. Other times I force them to wedge into long periods of silence and deal with themselves on their own. I get very little in return (other than heated ire), so those responses I do get are priceless and they join the small / growing list of stories I tell other students at the beginning of the semester. Art in the form of stories - is that even a thing? It's gotta be, because we keep reading TheRunAmuck. Girl, and I can't wait to share stories tomorrow night! Let's talk more about curating on a regular basis.

    Reply March 9, 2012

    Yes Sir! We sure will. I think until we're all and gray. The Malones and the Haines. :) Did you see my reference to you?

      Kiki Malone
      Reply March 9, 2012

      I weren't sure if it were a bona fide reference to the gator-eyed Bullfighter, but I accepted it as such in my troubador heart. Thank you kindly, lady.

      Did you see that Kiki re-Pinterested that picture of Seth? He's so pretty I can't wait to feast these eye-socket marbles on his burly visage!

      Biscuits and mustard!

Reply March 9, 2012

Every time, Amber Haines. EVERY STINKING TIME. I cry, I nod, i feel heard and understood about things I can't even articulate. thank you.

Seth (your husband)
Reply March 9, 2012

Sir Bull Fighter... I shaved.

Addie Zierman
Reply March 9, 2012

This is gorgeous. Thank you Amber.

Darcy Wiley @ Message in a Mason Jar
Reply March 9, 2012

My toddler girl reigns in the pen from scribbles and instead takes it in tiny circles. Everything is shaky polka dots. It's hard to throw a single page away. Last week, my boy made "sorry" cards with drawings of him treating his preschool friends nice. I had to take a picture for keeps before he put them in his backpack for transport. I keep so much of it, not just in my heart, but on my desk...and it's quite a mess. P.S. Have you seen this place online that will turn kid's stick-figure drawings into dolls? (http://childsown.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/keadryn.jpg) Sooooo fun.

Amy @ themessymiddle
Reply March 11, 2012

We are used to seeing our kids make art (and of course they should!) ... but I love this challenge that art is for all of us. I've recently been challenged to write on my hand what I hear God saying to me -- this has been a powerful discipline and form of art! http://wp.me/p1Ut5W-9E

Reply March 11, 2012

as my children reach one big toe into adulthood, i look around and realize i've been a curator of their lives, as well.... all these pieces, saved scraps, things that mean nothing to others but hold real live memories for us, make a magical scrapbook. i don't know that i'm ready to call it art, tho! :)

i popped over to tell you that it was fun to see you and spend some time w you at blissdom. it seems to take me a week or two to recover and wrap myself fully around it. loved it.

and i have a funny picture of you dancing, girlfriend, and i'm totally gonna use it as blackmail. i just haven't decided what i want from you yet. ;P

love to you.

Charity Singleton
Reply March 28, 2012

I think this word "curate" is one for our time; I've heard it used several times lately. I think we are relying more on curators because there's so much information, verbal and visual, that we don't know what to focus on or who to believe. In this way, you are both a curator for us, helping us sort through the truth of your family, and you are a curator for your family, sorting through all of us out here, helping your children and your husband know who to believe. Either way, it's noble work being a mother-curator.

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