I have a new group space at the shelter. It's more private and larger than the former one and I've decorated it with three new posters. The new posters, like the ones in the other space, are meant to provoke emotions, thought, and subjects for mutual storytelling or discussions.
My favorite is a gorgeous blue and white poster showing the top of an iceberg and the enormous unseen depths of treacherous ice below. The second is a young father stripped to the waist.He holds a newborn, nude baby and they are looking into each other's eyes. The third poster shows two Star Wars-type metal robots. The small one is saying, "Are you my father?"
Last night, the kids and I talked about the posters. They were enthralled with all of them for different reasons. Their comments were fairly superficial, but the longer they have to take in the themes of the posters-- unknown danger, the father-child bond, and the strength and danger of the hard, huge "father" robot--the deeper their understanding, stories, and comments will become.
I miss my "Polar Bear Family" poster from my old space. If we don't find it, I plan to get another one. This poster shows what appears to be a mother Polar bear sitting physically close to her two babies, and protectively leaning toward them. It is a theme sorely missing in my new space. Mother, her role in the family, her feelings toward the father figure and children as well as theirs toward her, have been recurrent themes in the stories of shelter children.
It was my most popular poster in the old space and it must be replaced. Mothers are the ones most victimized usually, but the ones who protect when they can and who take their children with them when they leave the batterer.
No way can she be absent from my "gallery."