My Photo
Name:
Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2007

 

The sweetheart and the mommy


Snuggle time
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
I've been spending some time lately thinking about Emily and Thomas and about how best to nurture their creative sides. Or, if the best way to nurture their creativity is to step back and let nature take its course. To control or not to control: that is the question. With this and with most parenting issues.

If I was forced to pick a single focus for each kid, I would pick Art for Emily and Music for Thomas. She loves to draw, paint, cut, color, and glue. He loves to bang on drums and make rhythms.

But both of them have such imaginations for make-believe, as most children do. For years Emily has been using her hands as characters in spontaneous dramatic scenes, and now Thomas is picking up on this. This afternoon while we were enjoying our lunch of leftover chicken and rice, he put down his juice cup, made "people" with his two index fingers, and proceeded to entertain me and Emily with the following one-act play:


Finger One

Mommy!

Finger Two

Sweetheart!

Finger One

Mommy!

Finger Two

Sweetheart!

Finger One

Mommy!

Finger Two

Sweetheart!

Finger One

Mommy!

Finger Two

Sweetheart!

Finger One

Mommy!

Finger Two

Sweetheart!

Finger One

Mommy!

Finger Two

Sweetheart!


After a minute of this, he stopped, placed his hands flat on the table as if to signal the end of the action, then picked up his sippy cup and resumed drinking.

I thought it was interesting that I was given the opportunity to observe this piece of noonday theater because I'm currently reading Ellen Handler Spitz's book The Brightening Glance, and right here (right here!) on page 7 she writes:


...It is this exchange I am after: namely, the many splendored ways in which individual children come to experience their worlds imaginatively and aesthetically--an exchange that also, importantly, involves their hearts.


I know that raising children who are in touch with their creative sides (whatever that means and however it manifests itself) is high on my list of parenting priorities. What about you? What I'm not sure about yet is whether or not my participation is required; perhaps I can best participate by not discouraging rather than by actively encouraging. What do you think?

What does raising a creative child mean to you?