Creative LicenseNovember 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop, Me | 21 Comments
Tags: Challenges, Children, Christmas, Creativity, Expats, Family, Fun, Imagination, Motherhood, Relationships
We got a Christmas tree this weekend. (Are we nuts, or what?)
And we put it together. I’m sitting on the couch looking at it right now. (Are we really nuts, or what?)
But Lollipop and Giggles got so excited about it. I’m talking jumping-up-and-down-hands-clapping-tiny-voices-squealing-Christmas-is-magic-is-Santa-coming-tonight excited. How could we say no?
And then, while my husband was sleeping off a sinus infection and longing for Mucinex, the kids and I made ornaments. I scoured Pinterest for ideas. I even pulled out the glitter pens and bag of confetti sparkles I had been saving for when the first blizzard comes and we’re snowed into our apartment surrounded by Lego towers and put-together puzzles and longing for pizza delivery.
I found an equally easy and adorable idea for hand-print reindeer. I mapped out the logistics in my head and made substitutions for the supplies we didn’t have. (Interestingly, Romania does not stock googly eyes.) I gathered the children and traced their beautiful hands on brown foam. They chose pipe cleaners for antlers (purple for Lollipop, red for Giggles). And off we went.
Mommy and her darlings sitting ’round the table crafting together. Just as I had planned.
They decided to give their reindeer red-glitter eyes. They glued heart and bow sparkles on the collar where the gold sequins/bells should have gone. They squirted glob after glob of teal glitter-glue on the reindeer bodies. When Giggles slapped a green birthday cake on his reindeer face, I made one of those low guttural growls I’m pretty sure lions make before they pounce on an unsuspecting antelope herd.
Every bone in my mothering body (even the broken one) wanted to “correct” them. To remind them of the adorable finished product we were shooting for. To tell them that reindeer do not, in fact, have bling on their hooves.
I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut. It was very, very hard.
As the dominating perfectionist corner of my brain battled with the teeny-tiny enclave of spontaneity a few synapses over, I watched my children laughing, thinking, and sharing. I watched them exclaim over sparkles shaped like flowers and stars and footprints and witches on brooms. I watched them have fun.
Two hours of fun. How could I interrupt that, simply because they weren’t doing it “my” way? It was a hard mothering lesson, one of those that reminds you you’re raising creatures with fragile spirits that need nurturing, not a manicured iron fist.
If I’m honest, I can’t say I’m entirely pleased with the finished product. But they are. And even my perfectionist brain knows that’s most important.
Besides, I bet Picasso’s mom felt the same way from time to time. And look how that turned out.
When it comes to parenting, how do you do what you know is right, instead of what you want? How do you nurture your children’s creativity? What are your favorite Christmas crafts?