Long before the word ‘creative’ was a word or like now, a descriptor for an actual profession, my mother demonstrated the act daily. We didn’t know it at the time. We just knew that there was nothing my mother couldn’t ‘make’ or do when it came to doing something with your hands; sew, paint, fix, plant, cook, reimagine a piece of furniture….and on and on. I remember my grandmother (my father’s mother) relaying a story about when my mother and father were dating she would brag on my father’s ‘catch’ stating that ‘her sons’ future wife could make golumpki (a polish stuffed cabbage) and reupholster your car seats! What a gal!”
Our after school hours were homework, practice, a bit of play, transport to various activities and ALWAYS some sort of project. Whether we knew it or not, she was giving us the gift of productivity as well as a disciplined daily schedule.
The projects ranged from fixing something, planting something, cooking something, painting something, cleaning something, sewing something, reading or writing something….always something…NEVER television or idleness….never.
Yes, my mother was that talented- or that strong willed- or that determined- or that patient- however you looked at it. She was one of the original creatives/makers.
Reflecting now, I think about the gifts my mother gave me by being so creative and resourceful. I am certain that had I not been so driven with my music, I would have caught on a bit more to some of the other creative things she was teaching us. She was determined that we have some of the basic abilities to create. More so than the actual ability to do something with my own two hands I do believe that she gave me the gift of appreciating those that do- those that create with their hands and minds. I have encouraged my daughters to create from the very beginning. They are both incredible artists and have tremendously fruitful minds and the will to transform anything into something. There’s a lot in that statement- I know. I am grateful that both my daughters had significant time with my mother before she passed away- especially in their formative years- they sew, paint, fix, plant…and on and on…
In this world of instant gratification and ‘throw away’ society, I am grateful for the ways in which my mother taught me to ‘make’ and ‘create’. I have witnessed so many different family eco-systems in my time as teacher and leader at the Conservatory and I can tell you that the children who have the opportunity to learn to ‘create’ and to ‘make’ are some of the most well rounded humans I know. Not only are they assured and curious, but they are honoring to others that do the same. Self -empowerment at its best and most graceful.
I can only hope that perhaps this message might remind you, as a young parent or as a grandparent or guardian, that there are SO many lessons to be taught in just the act of setting aside time with your child and ‘creating’ together. So many lessons….too many for this messenger. I am still reflecting on how powerful they are.