Nature, Nurture, and Not Sure

 

Garden

I love pallets.  They are heavy but free and have endless possibilities.

In my youth, I dreamed of being a stunt woman or / (ideally) and a rap video dancer.  As fate would have it, Run D.M.C. must have lost my number because that call never came.  The next most obvious option was for me to go into finance, so that’s where I headed.  I’m very good at it, I help many people, and I am valued at my company.  That’s what I do to pay the bills, and there is something oddly soothing about the black and white nature of calculations – either your numbers are right or they are wrong.  No gray areas.  However what I love to do is anything but black and white.  It pays no bills – actually it adds to them.  I adore creating things – gardens, murals for the kids’ rooms, random wood items, written pieces, etc.  I find it to be tremendously fulfilling to give life to something originally housed in your imagination even if it’s something simple.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My murals tend to be light and make an appearance when I want to spruce up spaces like this toy closet.  This was inspired by the adorable children’s book “The Pout Pout Fish.”

I take a tremulous walk across the right-brained left-brained tightrope every single day.  My older kids, however, seem to be firmly planted at opposite ends of the spectrum.  They are both fantastically creative and wildly clever in their own ways, but their directions seem so clear.

Fighters

Good vs Bad – this is his way (and his drawing)

My son is my eldest, and as is the way of many first born children, is all angles and clean lines.  School is easy.  There is right and there is wrong.  No middle ground.  Thankfully he is incredibly kind-hearted and dreams of helping people when he gets older.  I celebrate his natural tenacity and pray that it remains coupled with a conviction to change the world for the better.  He’s the kind of person that could do it, too.  He is misunderstood so often by kids his own age, and while that hurts my heart beyond words today, I know that this is a necessary part of his journey and that my boy is destined to shine.

Dragon Nursery

This is her drawing of a dragon nursery.  She has created enough dragon drawings to fill the internet.

My older daughter, on the other hand, is a fairy trapped in a human body.  She lives for all things magical, and art is her natural language.  School is much more challenging.  Most of her grades are good, but she has to work hard for them, and it definitely isn’t a labor of love.  Her tests come home laced with doodles and scribbles.  Her notes have dragons zooming between the words.  She doesn’t just enjoy creating things.  It’s who she is.  Last night we finally opened up a pack of modelling clay we have had for months.  She instantly constructed these wonderful funky critters and many more.

Jellyfish

So adorable, right?  So sweet, yes?  NO.  It’s a trick.  This kid will turn on you in an instant.  We have already been suckered in past the point of return.  Save yourselves and don’t fall for it!

And then there’s the tidbit.  It’s too early to tell exactly which way she will lean, but everyone in the family agrees that she will be prominent in the field of world domination.  DON’T TRUST THIS KID.  Her cuteness is the sneakiest facade you will ever see.

They are all so different yet so wonderfully awesome in their own ways.  I am in awe of their authenticity.  I envy the way they are who they are – no apologies, no excuses, no doubts.  I am proud of myself for encouraging them to embrace their natural gifts, but I wish that I could borrow a hint of the certainty they convey.

Even when you are born on the tightrope, finding your footing remains a delicate and tiresome balancing act.  I dream of picking a side and being able to trust that a net will be there to catch me when I do.

***MoJo***

 

Homes for Gnomes

IMG_20170616_222334
Although the weekend was slated to focus on all things Father’s Day, I had committed to fairy gardening time with my older daughter on Friday evening.  Because she’s a tweenager, she changed her mind at the last minute and let me know that she didn’t really want to do that (even though it had been her idea).  She played with friends instead, but that allowed me the chance to assemble the latest piece to surprise her.  (Was this my first day of parenting?  You would think so.)

IMG_20170616_201156

We started with this. It’s about 6′ tall and is fairly light. We had to secure the shelves with extra screws and drill holes into the trays for drainage.

She returned home to find the garden near completion.  I couldn’t wait to show her because of course she would be thrilled!  I could sense her absolute joy by the way tears immediately welled up in her eyes, her lower lip turned down and quivered, and she said quietly “You did it without me.  Why didn’t you wait for me, Mommy?”

You’re kidding me, right??  Big ugh.

I thought she was going to love it and instead I 100% hurt her feelings.  (Because my doofus self believed her when she said that she didn’t want to do it – rookie mom move!)

Having taken sufficient time off for the day, my experienced parent brain switched back on as it sensed my impending crash and burn.  I responded ever so casually, “I didn’t finish it.” (False)  “There’s a whole box of stuff here for you to add.” (True but I had completely forgotten about the box until that moment. This was divine intervention because even God couldn’t watch me flop that badly.)  “I just set up the basics, so you could focus on the important parts.”  She viewed me with skepticism but switched into fairy decor overdrive as soon as she found the box.  Thank you sweet cheeze-its for all of that fairy goodness.

She and I both love gardening, but we have vastly different styles of how to approach it.  I am of the school of thought that believes that less is more.  She is of the school of thought that believes that my school of thought can suck it because only more is more and everything should have more if more is an option.  So she ransacked her box of more (more everything), and the end result was a rather dynamic display.

IMG_20170616_222412

To me, it’s like “Hoarders” meets “Lord of the Rings” meets “Game of Thrones” (minus any nip action).  She thinks it’s the cats pajamas, and that reason is enough for me to adore it as well.

IMG_20170617_114519

You can see her stories in each little section.  She’s so creative and clever, and ultimately, she’s happy.  In her mind, we assembled all of it together.

IMG_20170617_114522

I want her to recall these moments with me with genuine fondness.  My hope is that she will remember the way we created these little gardens together.  My wish is for her to keep dreaming and embracing joy in the smallest of things.  Hopefully our little fairy gardens will instill a bit of magic in her heart and soul that she will keep with her always.

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Willy Wonka

I send wishes for magic, miracles and joy for you all.

***MoJo***

%d bloggers like this: