Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Letting go

Most of the time when I invite the kids to do art projects with me, I have an idea in mind of what the final product should look like. I kind of have to, right? So I'll know which supplies to get out.
And each time we do a project, I experience an inner struggle.  I want to "correct" them.  I want the kids to do the project the way I see it in my head.

But they never do.

 For instance--just look at this snowman's arms.  Don't you think they would look much better if they were angled down?  And tucked underneath instead of laying on top?  Snowmen arms in nature never look like this.

And what in the world happened to this snowman's face?  Is that a puss-filled something or other on his forehead?  And that must be a wart on his nose.  And presents for buttons?  What was she thinking?

 It takes an almost physical effort to let go, to let them make their own decisions in the creative process: to realize that this is not my project, it's theirs. To remember that it's not about the finished product, it's about the process. 

 In truth: sometimes their projects just turn into a big gluey (or paint-y) mess.  And I have had to learn to be OK with that.

If I really want a snowman, or flower, or turkey, that looks like the one in my head, I need to make my own (too bad we're out of cotton balls because Pal didn't want to implement my suggestion to pull the cotton balls out to make them flatter (and have more surface area) before gluing them to the page).

Parenting is like that, you know? We have this idea in our heads of how things should go--what our children should be like, what they should do and be. We want them to make the choices that will lead to them fulfilling that vision.
But really? We have to let go. We have to let them make their own choices; find their own vision of what they should be. And in the process, even if they don't turn out exactly how we imagined, we discover that their vision is beautiful.


  1. Personally, I don't think the arms would look better if they were angled down and tucked underneath instead of laying on top.

  2. Have you been getting comments that you think you need to be filtered? Is that why you are doing the approval step now?

  3. On Monday I asked people to leave comments with personal information that I didn't think they would want published if they wanted a coupon. I'll remove comment moderation next Monday.


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