Thursday, June 5, 2008

Experience Life

"One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again? -Rachel Carson (excerpt from Amanda Blake Soule's book The Creative Family )

Yesterday Aislynn wanted to help me wash the windows. After I had thoroughly sprayed and wiped down both the inside and outside glass on our back door. Aislynn announced, "Aislynn's turn!" Lately when she wants to do something, she simply declares it her turn. Sometimes you let your child be "helpful" even when its not. I gave Aislynn a spray bottle with water and some paper towel, and she went to work. She started out spraying the window and then wiping it with the paper towel, but soon found it was more fun to just use the spray bottle. So much for streak free shine!

It is rare that I turn down Aislynn's offer to "help." And a two year olds assistance is seldom more help than trouble. But I love that she is experiencing new things and exhibiting that desire. Many of the things I love to do around the house are because my mom let me trouble her with my "help." Cooking, sewing, being creative, these are all things my mom let me experience at an early age as I grew to love being in the kitchen, unsuccessfully attempting to sew barbie clothes, and creating more mess than artwork!

Life experience. It doesn't have to start when you are a teen or in college or out on your own. It starts the day you are born. I want to make every day count for my kids and give them as many opportunities and experiences doing and trying new things as they can get their little hands on.

Yesterday I received an email bulletin from "Parent Center," a prominent online parenting source. The title read, "How to raise an imaginative child." That was the featured article. I immediately thought to myself, "Do parents seriously need to be told how to raise imaginative children?" It all comes back to those life experiences. If unimaginative parents provide their children with little experience in exploration, getting messy, discovering new things, and creating; then when those children grow up they will have no imagination and raise unimaginative children. So I will continue to explore, get messy, discover new things, and create right along side my children.

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