Sometimes we think of art with toddlers to simply be a time filler for the day, or perhaps a way of demonstrating child educational concepts. In the rush and activity of motherhood we often don’t stop to watch and understand the lessons in creativity we could be learning from our babes and their application of finger paints and stickers.
Recently I was sitting with my 18 month old daughter, watching her repeatedly apply her Eater egg stickers one on top of the other on a set of cardstock shapes I found myself reaching to correct her. I wanted to say, “no, that is not how you do it…watch mommy make this picture of Eggs in the grass…this is the right way to do it.” As I watched her continue to apply the egg stickers however, I realized that as she applied the egg stickers she was taking the time to turn them, sometimes even peeling them back off to re-apply the way she wanted it to look. She moved to the next cardstock shape, this time making her lambs face each other as she colored a crazy background. In that moment, I realized my daughter was experimenting with the process of art. She was learning what was beautiful and appealing to her, what made sense to her as an individual.
This understanding of how my 18 month old daughter was approaching the art form of stickers and crayons made me think of how often I struggle to let myself explore doing something different without the fear of failure. The fear of whether or not others will think my art is good enough, if they will like it. I often find myself adding a new item to the closet of unfinished projects or ripping out my work based solely on these fears.
I am so happy that I paused before being a voice to alter my daughters creativity and sense of beauty. I am so proud that my daughter was able to help me learn a concept I am able to apply to my own creative process. Someday I will share with her that even before she had words to share her thoughts and dreams with me, she was already teaching her momma lessons ofnlife, self-confidence and beauty.