I have never really grown up, which makes me, apparently, an awesome grandma. Today I got prints of this painting I made of my grandsons, Gus and Carlo. Why did I make a painting of my grandsons flying on a dragonfly wearing their favorite boots? As Dr. Seuss once said in a different context, “I don’t know, go ask your dad.”
But I did know this: When I showed them the print, they would not be skeptical. They would not say, “I’m not three inches tall,” or “People can’t ride insects,” or “You’re crazy, Neena.”
No, they would be there in their imagination, flying over distant lands on the back of a dragonfly. I asked Carlo, who is two: “Where are you going Carlo?” He said, “To see animals.” He pointed down by the river, where the animals were. “How did you get the dragonfly to give you a ride?” I asked. “We gave him candy.”
Then we went outside and I sang them stupid songs from yesteryear (censoring out the randier ones) which inspired them to make up songs of their own. Carlo’s was “the soccer ball” and Alina, who is five, made free verse while she danced gracefully across the sun-dappled lawn.
This imagining, this spontaneous creativity is an inherent part of humanity; a beautiful part, a part we may need to save us from the darker parts of humanity.
Encourage it-in kids and in your self. Don’t tell me you aren’t creative-we are all creative. Someone took your crayons a long time ago-Get them back.