I am not sure if the title of my post today conveys what I am about to blog about. I am not an expert, I am not the rule and I am not judging you. Ok, now that the above is out of the way, I am going to share something that has been on my mind lately. How do we spend the little time we have with our kids. When I am sewing or embroidering, I listen to numerous podcasts with creative people and I am always fascinated by how they always talk about the time they spent with their parents creating things or watching their parents create. This is not just another idea, this is really what life is all about.
The other day I saw Alya playing kitchen and then she set up a beautiful plastic feast for me and just before I pretended to eat, she asked me to stop because she needed to take a picture of the food for her blog! Very cute, yes, but also very revealing. I do that all the time, she sees me spending a lot of time cooking, creating dishes, asking her to taste things for me and of course styling the food and taking pictures. She watches me embroidering and she asks if I could teach her and I am pleased to say that she is about to finish her first cross stitch project. No, I am not super mom, no I am definitely not easy going mom. In fact, I am a control freak. I only delegate when I really really have to and I find it hard to let go of details. When Alya used to ask me if she could help out in the kitchen, I would tell her that she could not. If she wanted to help decorating a batch of cookies, sorry sweetie but it is too messy. Hand sewing? No too dangerous. Planting? No, the plants are delicate. Until one day, when she was 3 the teacher at her preschool told us in our parent teacher conference how much Alya enjoys working with wood in the garage with her dad; which is something that they do together. He works on his thing and gives her some wood pieces that she colors and tapes together. I asked her if she said anything about me, she said no. I was devastated. But we do so many things together, I take her to the gym, I take her to Art class, I take to play with her friends at the park. We do homework together. Yes, but do I really include her in my day? That was the turning point for me and now I include her when she is intersted. I don't listen to that extremely careful internal voice of mine that wants things done right, on time and with as little mess as possible.
Alya: Mom, can I help you with the dough?
My internal voice: Noooo, Are you crazy? there will be flour all over the kitchen and dining room floors. You will need to spend an additional 20 minutes, cleaning the dining room floor before even dining? No
Me:Sure sweetie, thank you for helping mama out. But please careful, we don't want to make a huge mess.
Yes, there was a mess. Yes, I had to clean up after her. Yes, she had a great time. Yes, it felt good.
So now Alya is 6 and she is already a very creative child. I like to include her in all my projects, whether cooking, sewing, embroidery, illustration and calligraphy. It does not have to be a big deal, I let help me pick fabric, taste the food, decorate few cookies, touch the threads, give me a new nib to try and she watches all the tutorials with me when she is not distracted by her ongoing obsession with horses, ponies and unicorns. To read about that, click to see the themes of two of birthday party. Her dad does the same. In fact, he is the one who encouraged me to include her. I used to be protective of my stuff, I mean imagine those tiny hands touching my fancy camera, holding my newly cut paper, finishing off my calligraphy practice? With his help, I turned all the "NO, Don't touch!" to "Sure, give it a try". I still freak out on the inside, but this feeling is rapidly being replaced by a certain ease and pleasure, by a feeling of continuity, as if I am pouring a bit of myself in her and I imagine her growing up and telling people how she used to spend time with her parents doing creative stuff.
Alya's Saddle up Party, click here
Alya's Unicorn Party, click here
Halloween Costume, click here