For the seventh time today, I work to clean off the counters and the kitchen table. Surely since I just did this 11 minutes ago, it should not need to be done again. But it does. They are simply crowded.
An hour ago, the warm brown table was clean and visible. It was a hand-me-over when we first moved here from family in a nearby town.
It’s not the rugged Farmhouse table I always pictured, but it met a need and it’s the color of Maple Syrup (which is good, because it’s often sticky) and we LIVE at this table. We share meals. We share our days. We share the importance of “please eat your peas!” and we share love and life and laughing. Lots of laughing.
And for my older daughter, it’s a major workspace. Hence the continuous clearing. Somehow in the last year, the little 3 1/2 year old who rarely finished a coloring sheet because “it’s too much work!” and the “I can’t stay in the lines!” has turned into a real little artist. Now knocking on Five years old, she loves many things– art is chief among them.
She writes.. (She is just beginning to be able for read, so she copies words she wants to write, letter by letter.. patiently and purposefully.)
She colors some more. Markers. Crayons. Colored Pencils.
She paints with pursed lips and baby soft tendrils tucked behind her ear.
Not yet five years old– and her Creator?
He made her a little girl who loves, herself, to create.
In that way she is me. In a smaller body. With hardly any apprehension and a whole lot of assurance of who she is and what she wants to do.
She wants to create. She feels the need inside her and it brings her joy. And so she does.
And so, what’s my role in this? The cheerleader, I hope. But definitely the mama. The mama who picks up each and every sliver of paper. Each coloring sheet. Each wonky diamond shaped “kite” she has cut and colored in preparation for Spring around the corner.
Every single stray crayon and lone art project and page with her self portrait next to mine, (My hands are always drawn huge– I hope this means she always feels like I’m ever ready to hold her.)
I will clear the crowded counters to have her crowd them again with her bright ideas.
I will straighten and file stacks and stacks of papers just to find more of them in her little skipping, creating, drawing, coloring wake.
And I will remember what she teaches me about trying and trying again. And a love for what we were made to do.
Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and my girls over at Five Minute Friday
Lovely word images… oh how I love those creative days!! Enjoy the sticky-ness of the maple table, the creations she makes just for you… Thanks for sharing
Chandra Hadfield says
Love this, Cynthia. This is what it is all about “I will clear the crowded counters to have her crowd them again with her bright ideas.” Such a great mom to live with the crowded things in order to allow creativity in the little one. I can somewhat relate, but I think my idea of perfectionism often gets in the way of letting them be little. Thanks for the challenge to let them create, and in my own way to also create. Just lovely!
Thank you, Chandra! It is such a struggle to let go– most of the time, I fight it so hard!!!
What a beautiful picture of the small frustrations and joys of motherhood.
Your words describing your counters sound a lot like mine! I have little picassos living in my house too and while I struggle to let the messes go sometimes I have to because I was once one too! What a great mama cheerleader you must be,