Monday, January 4, 2010

the art of creativity

The most recent issue of Hip Mama, on creativity, really struck a chord with me. As an self-described "art family", creativity is something we live out in our daily life, not just in the moments we spend with charcoal and pastels. This quote in particular really spoke to me:

"My kids keep me creative. As mothers we are forced to improvise our existence to meet the chaos of life. A creative mother sings the scrapes and bruises away, makes sushi pizza as requested and takes their babes on fantastic voyages just before bedtime. Kids press our imaginations beyond the limits of reality. They help us find art in every breath." ~ Rose Norton

Don't get me wrong. Much of the day our creativity plays out like this:

*learning the ins and outs of watercolor pencils

* bathroom science experiments

*knights battling in the window

But just as often, our creativity is in this form:

*new bread recipes, enjoyed fresh from the oven

*watching Mozart - Die Zauberflote Fur Kinder (a live stage version of The Magic Flute) in German

* made up songs to help weepy, cranky or obstinate little ones laugh

Five little Finnegans jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama gave him arnica and Mama said, "No more Finnegans jumping on the bed"! Four little Finnegans jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama gave him arnica and Mama said, "No more Finnegans jumping on the bed"! ...and so on.

Passive creativity, as I like to think of it, is more of the backbone of our life rather than the creative goals or projects we consciously plan. But it really isn't all that passive, is it? This choice we make in every moment, at many forked points during the day, to take the road less traveled by dancing our way creatively through this parenting process...this life.


  1. Dancing our way through this parenting process-I love it! So true. I think this is why moms are so tired at the end of the day-we're exercising our creative minds even when we don't think we are.

  2. This is really insightful. You know that Grady isn't "creative" with his hands-- he isn't able to, and has no desire to, hold a pencil, write, draw, paint, etc. (JH, that's another story! He LOVES to draw) so our creativity plays out in different ways. Mostly, for him, through imaginary play based on a mix of what he reads and what he sees adults do. It's so important to meet our kids where their interests lie and show them all the many ways to be creative.

  3. i think all forms of creativity are so very important and creativity can play out in so many parts of life. as art, as science, baking and cooking, gardening, home repairs and decoration.
    may this be a creative year for all!

  4. Joy, I love your blog and your thoughts on mothering. Just when I'm feeling like a bad mama for not setting up the watercolor paints like my son wanted today because I'm sore and tired - you helped me realize that our time spent cuddling under the play silks reading and whispering was creative. thank you!

  5. What a beautiful post Joy, I really appreciate your thoughts on creativity and family!!!

  6. Well said Joy. I have to tell you, you're an inspiration to me. When I was thinking about my choice to send my kids to school instead of homeschooling, I thought of your family, and how even though you don't homeschool, you still fit so many fun, creative activities into your time together. This is how I want my family life to be.


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