Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today: 2.25 miles; Running Total: 99.77 miles)
Day 166 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.
Watching Kids Create
I love watching my kids create stuff.
Whether they’re using paints, glitter, or just a pen and paper.
I love how Connor is old enough now to curl up on the couch, his head against the arm rest, one leg crossed over a bent knee. A notebook lies open in his lap, a pencil busily drawing a school bus or a dog or (lately) our Elf on the Shelf.
I love how Hannah will lose herself in a sketch book or write a song. I love that she will then line us up on the couch and perform her song for all of us (even if I do have to remind Connor not to interrupt every stanza with the word ‘fart’).
I love watching them create because creating, for them, is completely effortless.
If they draw something that doesn’t exactly resemble a school bus or a dog or a bird, who cares?
If I have to say, “Wow. That’s awesome. What is it?”
And they have to explain, “It’s a crocodile with wings and a magical horn,” they do so with a casual shrug, as though it’s beyond them how I could have missed that.
I love that there is no shame in their creations. No second guessing.
They don’t agonize over it, don’t freeze because they wonder ‘will anyone like it?’
They just create their winged-and-horned-crocodiles to the best of their ability, then display it with pride.
I wish I could create like that.
I do not.
I write something and then degrade myself for it.
Holy shit this is the worst thing I’ve ever written.
I’ll never be as good as I was that one time. Everyone loved that one.
And my favorite, I’ll never have a good idea again.
My kids don’t do this. They take the creative process as it comes.
The essential difference between the kids creating and me creating?
I’m focusing outward.
“What will they think? Will he laugh? Will she get it?”
They, on the other hand, focus inward.
They only see that they’ve created something they themselves like.
We have the same tools, a pencil or pen and a piece of paper.
The difference is in the baggage.
I hope they will always create this way. I hope they will always draw or write or sing with wild abandon, doing what they like simply because they like it.
I hope the world will not creep in and jade them. Hope that their creative urge doesn’t freeze like a rabbit caught in the middle of a busy highway.
I hope they hold onto this blissful creative innocence for as long as possible.
I hope these things but I know the chances are slim.
The world will creep in. They’ll acquire their own baggage. They will question whether their art is ‘good enough’.
And when this happens I hope they will remember what it feels like to create for the sake of creating. To create for themselves because of the joy in it.
Because it’s why we all create.
The beautiful, luminescent joy that underscores the teeth-grinding frustration of creating something.
Hold onto the joy, my loves.
I’ll just sit back and try to learn from you.
Today’s silver lining: Good teachers come in all ages and sizes.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!
Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.