The Practice of Creativity

I will never forget the moment when Buddy and I were painting side by side, and he looked over at me with the biggest smile on his face, hugged my arm, and told me he loved me. He tells me he loves me often, but there was just something special about that moment. Something about the way he looked at me. It has happened again several times since then, usually when he and I are doing something creative together. Like this overwhelming feeling of pure joy and contentment hits him, and he can think of no other way to express it other than genuine love and appreciation for me.

There is something sacred about the act of creating together. Something very bonding for this mother and son.

I wrote about why I want to raise creative children, and I know that the best way for me to do this is to live creatively in front of them.

Up until recently, I never considered myself a very creative person. I have never taken an art class, and do not draw very well. I struggle with perfectionism, and the thought of messing up or not doing it right kept me from venturing down many creative paths.

I don’t know how or why, but something changed in me a couple of years ago. Maybe it was having children. Maybe it was moving into a home I love. I don’t know why, but I started to create things, and allowed myself to make mistakes. I got a sewing machine and didn’t worry about perfect seams. I bought yarn and needles and taught myself to knit. I started sanding and painting furniture. I started making things for my kids and with my kids. I began decorating my home in a unique and creative way. In practicing creativity, I discovered a part of me that I didn’t know existed.

As a mother, creativity is an important daily practice. It brings a certain energy and excitement to the day for me and my boys. Sometimes it is just a simple craft. Many days it is helping Buddy make something he has imagined up. When I can, I love to squeeze in a home project or a little sewing myself. I try to resist the urge to wait until after the boys go to bed, and try instead to involve them in my projects. Or at the least, allow them to see me being creative.

I have learned to let go of perfection and embrace the act of creating together.

Goodbye cute clothes. Hello paint stains from a spontaneous art project.

Goodbye perfect furniture. Hello to paint drips and an afternoon of painting together in the back yard.

Goodbye straight hems. Hello to allowing Buddy to “drive” the sewing foot while I make a bedskirt.

Goodbye clean house. Hello to glitter on my kitchen floor and paint brushes drying by my sink.

Goodbye tidy back yard. Hello random bricks and pieces of scrap wood, essential items for creative little boys.

Goodbye intimidation, perfectionism, and hesitation. Hello creativity.

Always,

Amanda

 

I wrote this post as part of Sarah Bessey’s Practices of Mothering link up

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Comments

  1. A resounding “YES!!!” with all my heart.

    Love,
    Erika

    P.S. Thanks for leaving a comment so I could find you! 🙂

  2. I love it Amanda!

  3. I struggle with perfectionism too and have found that art is a wonderful way to express myself as well as recover from of those “what if i do it wrong?” fears. I think it’s wonderful that you’re practicing creativity with your little one!

  4. This really resonates with me in so many ways. I have a very creative child who thrives on art projects, and I have to constantly wrestle with my perfectionism, too. But in the end a little glitter on the floor is worth the joy in her heart!

  5. Oh, Yes to all of this!
    Totally reckon that when we create we are imitating our Creator – a fully holy act. How awesome that you are revealing this aspect of God so deliberately to Buddy.

  6. “There is something sacred about the act of creating together. Something very bonding for this mother and son. I wrote about why I want to raise creative children, and I know that the best way for me to do this is to live creatively in front of them.”

    So much of parenting seems like its modeling and example-ing, and just plain living. Thank you for the reminder – I’m tucking away for sure when my littles are biggers!

  7. I think you are so right! I especially like the idea of creating in front of and with our children. I’m a librarian and it reminds me of the advice to let your children see you reading so that they know you’re a reader.

  8. I. Love. This.

    Gracious, this is my language. This part here —>”I want to raise creative children, and I know that the best way for me to do this is to live creatively in front of them.” That’ll preach.

  9. Ooooh, I found this one particularly challenging to the writer in me who is tempted to just spend all my spare time at the computer. That’ll be a hard one for my five month old to understand and participate in sometime soon. Thanks for this.

    • I know what you mean! I love to read and write, but do most of my reading on my iPhone Kindle app, and all of my writing on my computer. And my husband’s creativity is expressed through graphic design and video editing. It can be tough to figure out how to model these creative outlets correctly.

  10. Oooh, I found this one particularly challenging to the writer in me who spends a lot of time on the laptop. That’ll be a hard one for my five month old to understand and participate in soon. Thanks.

  11. jackandellasmum says:

    Oh, I love this and so resonate! In our family purpose statement, we wrote that we want to foster creativity in our children. And yet I always feel held back by my lack of skill, or imagination, or time. Thank you for inspiring me to pursue a life of messy paint for and with my kids! (and thanks for popping in over at my blog!)

  12. I love this! Beautiful! We were created to be creative. I see the same pure love & joy in my oldest daughters face when we create & work together. that look is so motivating to me (& it melts me, too.)

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