Thursday, August 13, 2009

Squelching Creativity One Little Brain at a Time

I sat in the stiff leather chair in McClaine's room, arms crossed, glaring at the precious child. Freckles are just beginning to decorate his post-toddler cheeks and his nose that resembles his father's. If I relaxed for a minute, his eyes would pop open in hopes that I had snuck out and opened up the room for an hour or so of quiet pirate fights between himself and the stuffed animal in the corner.

In the background, Audrey's wailing hushes and her reluctance to nap eases and she gives way to her pillow and soft quilt. I see McClaine's chest rise and fall in steady rhythm a tease to his mommy that she can go about her busy-ness of wash and fold, or blog.

Then I hear the tiptoe up the stairs. For some reason it always is unnerving when I am trying to get the little kids to sleep and Avery comes up to ask me something. I have such resolve to get all the kids to sleep so I can have a blessed 30 minutes to myself, or my laundry, or dinner prep or cleaning toilets, blah. I miss the joy in her every question, already having my "no" ready to fire before she ever asks.

"Momma," she has a gleam of excitement and wonder in her beautiful hazel eyes, enhanced by the "kid makeup" in lavender that is smudged unevenly across her lids, "can we decorate this brown wagon?"

"NO. Now go back downstairs until I finish putting the kids to sleep."

"But, it's so ugly," she pleads.

Squelching creativity one little brain at a time. Eager to get about my cleaning and blogging and cooking. Missing the opportunity to foster a world of brilliance and ingenuity.

Her face drops and the wonder fades. She scampers downstairs to the always inviting Noggin.

That is when that God-moment hits me. The quiet conviction in my heart that I only have a breath of time to impact these little souls for an eternity. To fan the flame of creativity. To love them with the fullness of heart and leave the laundry for another day, because really, they don't care if they have clean clothes that are neatly folded and put in their proper drawer. They care about how lovely they decorated the porch with pastel chalks and how they had a tasty snack of dirt and broccoli and purple hull peas from the garden.

I often envy my husband's creativity. At any moment he can sit down and compose a song at the piano, he can pick up a brush and create a lovely watercolor painting, he can find the weirdest items in the fridge and put together a meal fit for a king. He never cleans up after himself or allow the worries of a mess hinder his creation. His two sisters are like that too, spontaneous and brilliant, and I know where it comes from-Oma and Opa.

They buy fun things for the kids, play-do and glitter, chalk and chalkboards, paint and glue- and they actually let the kids use them. Oma makes handmade Barbie clothes with Avery, and lets her glue sequins on, she cooks and eats dough and gets messy. They foster creativity, one little brain at a time, and I am learning to do the same. Starting with that ugly brown wagon that will be pretty and gorgeous by tonight.

This entry was submitted to MamaKat's Writers' Workshop, click on the button above to join in the fun!


Mrs. Montoya said...

Your post is breathtaking - really. It's something I think of ALL THE TIME and have never been able to articulate quite as well as you did. My day is brighter after reading this (and my RANT, but that's something else entirely!! :) I'll be back for more inspiration

Katie said...

What a sweet God-moment! I found your blog through MamaKat's Writer's Workshop, and I will definitely be back to read more. You have such a beautiful family!

Julianna said...

Thank you for this entry, Tyner. I really really loved it. I know you are doing a great job fostering creativity (and SO MUCH more) in your little people. You have a ton of impact with just about everything you put your hands to.

Katie W said...

You are an AMAZING writer, Tyne!

Nancy said...

I love your writing style! Oh, yes, you have creativity oozing out of those fingertips. You painted a perfect picture with your words.

I realized my error after I added my name on MamaKat's blog. I scheduled my God Moment for Sunday.

I am so glad I have a great writer to stalk. Thanks for commenting on my comments.

Gigi said...

Thank you for visiting me today. I dropped by and was taken back. I definitely remember those days when a little one only wanted to do something creative and fun - but there was laundry to do; a house to dust; toilets to clean, etc, etc. But eventually, I learned that sometimes it's okay to let that stuff go. Because before you know it - they are 14 1/2 and really don't want much to do with you anymore.

amanda said...

beautiful. and so very. very true.

not the squelching. the reminder. to go with the flow.

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. I really love this. You write so beautifully. And such a great thing to think about. I am SO thankful I stopped over today. Thank you!

Heather said...

OUCH, Tyne! This post pierced my heart...I feel your pain my friend! Thank you for these words and for the gentle reminder of how fleeting this window of time is with our children. I will pray for you as I pray the same things for myself....grace for each day, wisdom for each moment, joy in the journey.

Amanda said...

Beautiful, sweet mama.

Mommy Lisa said...

I am SO in that place and I only have one little munchkin.

"Mama can we color?"

No, I am making dinner.

When really it does not matter because the husband is out golfing and she and I could eat pbj and be just fine.


Madamoiselle said...

Yes, let the creativity flow! You do only have a little bit of time to foster that creativity with the lil' ones.

J. said...

I love this post! I agree it's hard to remember to let the creativity take the moment when life seems to think it should be in the way. I say I'm an artist, but it has taken me a long time to realize the art and creativity in the every day things (like hand decorated wagons.) I see now that my future dilemma will be where I stand about coloring on the walls...

Jenifer said...

Thank you for this entry. I really really loved it.
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