He isn’t a kid who would strike you as creative. He’s rough and tough, not afraid to carry around dead baby snakes (sorry), catch lizards, and get dirty; he plays (too much) Xbox, Wii, computer (I know…not needed…but Daddy works at an electronics superstore, so what can I do?). He’s just generally all-boy tough.
Looking at him, you just wouldn’t guess he’s creative, too.
But aren’t we all, really? Creative? No matter who we are, we’re creative at something. It’s just that so many of us have met with critics or gathered inhibitions along life’s way until we no longer believe we can do anything well. So we say, “I’m not creative.”
That’s sad, because it’s just not true. Children aren’t born with those inhibitions. They naturally want to create, not worrying over whether they can make something well or not, until someone (even if just the t.v.) lets them know – or somehow instills the doubts – that they aren’t particularly good at creating.
I don’t want our kids to feel that way. ever. So for them, I try to offer freedom to create and freedom to follow whims. We keep things around for spontaneous creativity: tape, scissors, writing instruments, and plenty of other tools an artiste might need.
Our little guy, who is a natural pyromaniac, melted the end of a PVC pipe over several months’ worth of bonfires until one day it looked like a head to him, especially with the addition of a pine cone attached with (of course!) duct tape.
He added a fabric-scrap scarf and cable wire as floppy, skinny arms.
The scarecrow and his maker’s shy smile greeted me in the garden, where in a serious tone he asked if I’d like a “sculpture” for my garden. He added, in his 8yo innocence, “I think it’s probably worth $200, but you can just have it. If you like it.”
Why, yes, I would indeed. And yes, I do like it, very much. Together we found the perfect spot for a sculpture-scarecrow, in the corner of a raised bed planted with zinnia seeds.
I can’t wait to see what’s next.