I will forever remember her long curly brown hair. It was always a little unruly. She wouldn’t let me fix it, so it was always in a natural state. Just like she was, and is.
From an early age my oldest daughter showed signs of being a creative person. She liked to dress up in costumes, and go on imaginary adventures. We collected capes, hats, gloves, and whatever we could so she could dress up. When I think of her childhood I think of her dressing up and going on some new adventure she was cooking up in her head.
We kept a craft storage tub for her, and later would expand it to a craft closet. The clear blue tub will forever be engrained in my mind. It was filled with playdoh, color books, crayons, markers, scissors, and whatever supply she needed to create a new piece of art.
I thought I would be cleaning up playdoh forever, but she grew up, and I miss those days.
I hope in some way that I inspired her to explore her creativity, but now I can see that I could have done so much more. One of the problems with parenting is that you are growing up, and maturing, alongside of your children. I was 20 when I had her and just a kid myself. I knew it was good for kids to draw and play, but that was the extent of my understanding.
If I could go back I would have spent more time learning about who she was, and then look for ways to develop that. We could have gone for more walks, visited more museums, gone to more concerts, and did more crafts together.
She is a beautiful, creative woman today, and I enjoy watching her grow and mature. She is my creative counselor. She understands my frustrations with lining up real life, and my dreams. She understands the torture of not being able to be who you want to be in your daily job. She listens; she encourages, and gives me permission to be who I was made to be.
For a very short time we are privileged to live with our children. People who have ideas, passions, and dreams. We may be able to be the catalyst they need to explore their creativity, and we may not. If we can’t take them beyond us then we need to connect them to someone who can.
Perhaps within your child is a sculptor, orator, writer, dancer, designer, or whatever. You have 18 years in which to help them explore, in which to learn about them, inspire, and encourage them.
One day they will move on. There will be no more playdoh to clean up, spilled paint, drawings scattered everywhere, or opportunity to sit down and do crafts with them.
Seize the moment while you have it. You won’t regret it.
As you help your children explore their creativity you will be able to explore yours. Somewhere in you is talent unexplored, creativity bound, and ideas squandered.
Now is the time. Let’s put on our capes, hats, gloves, and become little girls and boys again, and zip off on a new adventure.
Let’s live extraordinary lives. Marcy