With how much I enjoy arts and crafts I really thought creativity would be a natural part of my daily activities with my children... nope. Sure, Gabriel has access to crayons and coloring books at any given moment but I really thought I would be 'that mom' who always had an art project to do with her children. Sadly (or maybe realistically) I'm not.
Gabe loves painting and we did quite a bit of it while in Japan. I've been trying to buy him a set of washable Crayola paints here but between budgets and the paints being sold out at Target when I do wind up having extra budget money (they are always in stock at Michael's and JoAnn's but for ridiculously more, I'm frugal) I haven't been able to purchase any yet.
The weather has been so nice this summer and I think it's extremely important for kiddos to be outside as much as possible so I wanted to have some sort of outdoor activity. At the time using acrylic paint to paint rocks (I already have the paint and rocks are free too) sounded like a great idea, I mean, what could go wrong?
I wish I could say I was super carefree about it all but honestly I spent a lot of time trying to get Gabriel to sit for 2 seconds to paint a rock. Instead he wanted to twist all the paint caps off (twisting off caps is a new acquired skill this week; he painted his belly with nail polish the day after dumping all my nail polish remover down the drain), play with the buttons that were randomly in the paint bin, find rocks for me to paint, paint the rocks I was painting (I know I shouldn't have cared if he painted the rock I was painting... but I did... it bothered the perfectionist inside me who had a plan for her rocks, i.e.: frog, ladybug, and bumblebee), paint the driveway, himself, as well as the bumper of the car. I spent more time doing damage control, telling him to stay on the drop cloth with the paintbrushes, and trying to get him to be creative the way I wanted him to be rather than letting him explore creativity the way he wanted to (that however will never involve painting the car).
It's silly looking back on it that I expected we'd sit there for at least 10 minutes just enjoying each other, when in actuality it was only a hot 5 seconds. What I need to realize is that though I was hoping for us to have 'more fun' I'm sure he loved those 5 seconds even if to me they felt like they weren't much of anything. I actually know this is true because that was yesterday and today he's been asking and requesting to go paint rock outside.
Maybe the reason I haven't been as artsy is because I think projects need to be grand and thought out but obviously at this age that's not necessary. I hope this experience allows me to take some of the pressure off myself and think simpler because after all, he just enjoys that we're doing something new and different together. Okay so the part about new and different isn't even true, he really just likes the time collaborating, working, and giggling as a team. He is a boy who truly cherishes and feels loved through quality time no matter the activity.