When I was a kid, the most fun things to do consisted of
dirt, paint, mud, bugs, leaves, markers and any other messy substance that
could turn a very clean girl into someone very filthy in just minutes flat.
The other day we received a belated birthday gift for my
daughter that included several arts and crafts supplies. Every single item was
the new kind of craft that didn’t make a mess. If you have a young child, I
know that you know what I mean: markers that are invisible until written on
special paper and ‘paints’ that simply reveal a hidden picture beneath once the
paper has been painted upon.
While I understand the concept of these special craft items,
and while I’m certain that these companies are making a killing manufacturing
them, as they save lamp shades and walls across the continent, I’m kind of
saddened by the way that things have changed since I was a young girl.
Honestly, how much creative ability does a child need to simply brush a picture
with a wet paintbrush when the painting has already been done? It’s not as
though my daughter is painting this picture through her artistic ability and
creative eye; she is simply revealing what is beneath the surface. Perfect for our breakfast out entertainment-keeps her busy so we can drink our coffee and chat for a while-but if you want your child to develop a sense of creativity, shouldn’t they be doing the painting on their own?
I want my girl to get messy. I want her to have paint in her
hair, under her thumbs, and in her armpits. I want the bath water to turn
bright blue when I dump her inside at the end of the long day. I want dirty
fingernails, sand in the toes, and a sidewalk filled with silly drawings that
only a three year old can understand.
I want her to be a mess, because that shows me just how hard
she has worked.
I do get it, at least in one way. We don’t want our kids to
make messes all of the time. But if we want to teach them some creativity, we
gotta expect a little dirt.
Here’s to a paint-in-your-hair kind of weekend, moms. Enjoy
it, and don’t be afraid to get messy!