Before the 5yo started school, Friday was always our big project day. We would choose a theme and we would create. We made paper bag puppets and rocket ships; paper plate animals and lollipop stick fish. We did lots of messy play; with gloop and paint and moon sand. We had fun!
Now that he is in school full time we don’t have our Fridays anymore and I miss our creative time.
We still do lots of drawing and painting and crafts, but I miss the one-on-one time we had.
The other day he asked if he could do a craft. He wanted to try something that he had been doing in school. A Thanksgiving, turkey, craft. I was in the middle of homework monitoring, wee girl corralling and dinner preparation.
I said no. I said I couldn’t help him, that I was too busy.
My wonderful, grown up boy said, it’s okay mummy, I can do it myself.
And, he did.
I’m sorry to say that I didn’t even watch him. I just left him to it. I glanced over every so often and he was happily drawing. He asked for scissors and I gave him a pair. That was the sum total of my involvement.
He drew a handprint turkey, cut it out, coloured it in, stuck it on to a background and drew more detail.
And then he gave it to me for a present.
I know that I can’t stop every time the kids decide they want to do something. It’s not always going to be appropriate or practical to do a craft, or paint, or play a game. Sometimes there are other priorities. They need to learn patience. They need to learn to play, and create, independently.
I won’t always be able to drop everything and get involved.
There is however a small part of me that wishes I had stopped, because it won’t be long before he doesn’t want my help anymore, before this independence is the norm. Then I really will miss our creative time.
But there is a bigger part of me that is glad that he did the activity by himself. That I didn’t help; that I left him to it. I was so proud of his independent creativity; it shows me how much he is growing up.
And, I love my picture.