I'm going to be ugly honest about myself today.
Sometimes I am not a fun mom. I find myself struggling to be playful. I never played Barbies with Sophia. I have never attempted to figure out how to play any game (besides Just Dance) on the Wii, in spite of Ethan's love for video games. I hate puzzles and when Adam and Ethan do them I call it "father/son bonding" and don't even pretend I want to join in.
And more times than I'd like to admit, I have to work, to shoo them away so I can meet a deadline. (It's not a huge number of times this happens, but every time it does, I feel guilty.) I work from home, so it's hard to "put my work away" and be in the moment. But I'm focusing on doing better.
Now that I paint (fairly regularly) with Ethan and Sophia, I find my Hobbit so wanting to join in. Acrylics and this crazy monkey aren't really a great idea, so when he begged to paint the other day, I searched for their cheap-o watercolors.
I couldn't find them. Do you believe I begrudgingly cracked open my own new set of watercolors? I knew he would ruin them, so I really didn't want to share. (Oh my gosh, did I just admit that?...and I wonder why my kids sometimes seem really selfish.)
I used to be the kind of mom that hated kid-mess. I wouldn't break out paints unless it was just me and everyone else was in bed. I wouldn't let them play at the kitchen table, and my heart would race whenever they were doing something messy (with glue or markers or paints.)
I'm not like that anymore. Our kitchen table is full of scrapes and knicks and stray lines of paint. I love it. Adam wants to get rid of it, but when I look in the one corner and see how Ethan wrote "I love you" so hard it went right through the paper and carved into the table, I can't dream of parting with it. It's the perfect craft table.
I guess I've sort of realized that Picasso was right... "Every child is an artist." And I don't want the second half of his quote to be true. I don't want my kids to ever struggle for one second to remain artists when they grow up. If I never let them get messy, well, how will they ever become artists?
Incidentally, for all my fretting, Sam didn't make a mess at all. He did ruin my watercolors, but I decided to buy a new set and call these his. Homeboy's got some mad skills.
I know this post is rambly, but I guess what I'm saying is... get the paints out. Buy them a canvas. Let them experiment. Step back when you want to tell them the trees have to be green and there's no such thing as a purple cloud. Let them dream...right in front of your eyes...
Because they're never too young to be an artist.