My oldest daughter went back to school today. Summer is officially over.
This is a season I am confidently putting under the win column. We took a great vacation and we read and we swam and we lazed and we adventured. But the thing I am most excited about is the way we opened the door to our creativity.
I admit that I haven't always been the most crafty mom (in fact, I wrote a post about that just a few short months ago!) but this summer I put forth a huge effort to make more art with my girls, to help them open their minds up and create. I did it with parameters, because that's me. I'm a big fan of parameters. Definitely not the kind of mom who sets out "invitations to play" and lets the kids go wild. Instead, I found projects with good examples, explained the overall idea and the general rules and then let them go a neat, well-informed version of wild. That might sound kind of clinical or limited but it is what worked best for me and my girls had a great time. They made some beautiful art and I loved seeing the different ways they each approached a project and how proud they were of their results.
I have spent most of my life convinced that I'm not an artist. It hasn't mattered that I've grown to be a decent writer or photographer. The idea that I was not a drawing/painting kind of artist was instilled in me very young and it has stuck and frustrated me to no end. So, as silly as it may sound, doing all of these art projects with my girls, melting crayons, dripping paint, has been cathartic in lots of unexpected ways. It has driven home that there is more to art than being able to sketch realistic figures or watercolor accurate landscapes. There truly is an artist in all of us.
I'm already planning ways to keep the momentum going throughout the school year with my littlest and I hope there is room on this blog to share more of what we come up with because that happy heart-swelly feeling is one I definitely think is worth sharing.