Thursday, September 23, 2010

My girl

When we got home from school today Claire brought me a craft project that has been sitting on a shelf since her birthday in June and asked if she could work on it. I opened the box, quickly browsed the directions, and gave her basic instructions. Then she sat down to work on it.

She had arranged a few felt shapes on the pink tote bag, but nearly every time she reached into the plastic bag she pulled out something new that she hadn't seen before. Then I heard her mutter, "let's get organized". She took everything back off the bag, and then started methodically laying out all of the felt shapes on the table, grouping them by shape, and then organizing by color.

"Now. Let's start over," she told herself, and started arranging the shapes into a pattern she found pleasing on the bag. She moved things around trying different color combinations, and moving them just a bit one way or the other.

Sometimes I see a side of her that strikes a chord in me. She loves to create - even her new teacher, after knowing her only a week recognized how much she loves to color and draw. However, sometimes her perfectionist tendencies impact her creativity. She wants - needs even - someone to validate her choice before she makes it final. She gets upset if something doesn't turn out the way she pictured it in her head.

Just like me.

This is why I don't scrapbook. There are so many details, and what if I take my photos and all of those amazing papers and stickers and photo borders and everything else, and then I don't like how it ends up? So I just don't do it. I have several drawers of scrapbooking materials down in the basement, and it continues to sit there - used only infrequently, and generally not for its intended purpose.

I work hard to encourage Claire's creativity, and praise the finished product, even if it is different than how I would have done it. I want her to be happy, and to see her successes even when it might initially not be how she intended it. I want her to not be afraid of the outcome, and to enjoy the process of creating, and of trying new things. Most of all, I want her not to stop because she is too worried that she might fail.

She hums quietly to herself as she works. Then turns with a smile, "I'm almost done, Mom!" "I can't wait to see it, sweetie - it's going to be great!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

from Nonni who quilts, just go for it girl and make it differently the second or third time if it doesn't work out. It is a learning process albeit slowly to come for some of us. But we do eventually persevere with practice, just like learning multiplication or algebraic equations. Way to go both of my girls, love you. N