Being a creative person is not just something I’ve recently discovered or tapped into. It’s been who I am for my whole life, at least for as long as I can remember. Having children has expanded my creative boundaries in so many ways and I love sharing this part of their childhood with them. It’s so exciting to watch a child’s creation take place, to see what they are drawn to (no pun intended) and what transpires on their page. From color blobs and scribbles, to lines and circles and then on to stick figures and faces.Calvin is now at an age when he will sit for an extended period of time with markers or crayons and paper…and not lick them like a popsicle. Having Levi by his side certainly helps, although they definitely need a bit of distance between them in order for peace to reign over the experience! Last night I popped an old drop cloth on the dining room table and brought out some supplies for them to work on while I was making dinner. Every time I looked over at them, with their markers in hand, I smiled a big, happy-mama smile. Not just because they were occupied and relatively quiet, but because I felt like a part of me was coming alive through them, through their colorful lines and scribbles.
Recently, Levi has really taken to drawing pictures and will literally draw on anything he can with whatever he can. Seeing this interest has made me realize how much he has the desire and initiative to create on his own. I’m no longer “setting up” an activity for him and suggesting that we work on it together…those moments are now geared more towards Calvin. For Levi, I am just presenting him with the tools to unlock his imagination and explore his visual thoughts. And I get the great priveledge of watching it all unfold…a true honor in so many ways.
Before bedtime last night, I offered him some new tools…an old sketchbook of mine, some ink pens and a set of colored pencils I bought while traveling in Florence so many years ago. Instead of reading stories, he chose to make drawings with me in his bed. Usually by bedtime, I’m at the point of our day when I’m just ready to “get it done”…meaning bedtime. Not that I try to rush our bedtime routine, but just that I’m sort of depleted and want his day to be over. (I’m not the only mother who feels this way, right?) This time, I couldn’t have felt more connected to my boy and happy to be snuggled up in his bed, sketch books on our laps, tin of pencils between us sharing a beautiful moment together. These lines of creativity run deep between us and as he grows, I am learning how much they connect us to each other. Watching him draw makes me so proud as his mama and has helped me rediscover one of my first and truest passions in life. I remember so vividly the feeling of holding a new crayon or pencil in my hand, making it move across a clean, white page and letting my imagination open up and be free. My parents recognized that fire in me from an early age and nurtured it with great attention and care throughout my childhood. To be able to pass that on to Levi is almost too awesome for words. Be free, little guy…be free.