Wednesday, December 30, 2009

thE GiFt OF HoW To

As the parent of a 7 year old, I work really, really hard to generate and support an enthusiasm and appreciation for hands-on doing, and creating, and individuality in her. I'm of course up against computers, video games, television, her little peers that are already into cell phones, labels, and a bunch of other stuff that I think robs kids of some of the imaginative, creative, hands-on experiences that those devices and interests can't give you. While I'm a big believer in balance and moderation and not anti-technology, by any means, I really want her to know how to do other things, basic things like gardening, cooking, sewing and creating. I won't deny that I love it whenever I ask her what she wants to do on a saturday and she says she wants "to go make stuff in the shop".
So while her friends and cousins were receiving nintendo DS game players, she got a sewing machine. I, of course was very excited about this gift she got from her grandma, and most importantly Madeline was thankfully, very excited about it too. She is always wanting to sew at the same time I am and it's a bit hard to get my work done while getting up and down every few minutes, changing out the thread and letting her sneak in with her 'urgent' tasks. For her to have her own sewing station next to mine will be a wonderful thing. My mom also gave her a vintage sewing basket filled with all kinds of old trims and accessories along with a stack of fabric scraps and some patterns for doll clothes. You have no idea how relieved I was to see her getting as excited as we were with it all, and digging through the basket talking about all that she was going to make and do.
It's only natural to want our kids to genuinely share in our interests and love a lot of the same things we do, but at the same time I want her to come by it naturally without feeling as though it's being forced upon her. A bit tricky since that's everything that this family is all about, but if we throw in a few moments of 'video time' and such here and there, hopefully we'll maintain a 'creative balance'.

Cheers to gifts that encourage 'creating'.

1 comment:

Barb Smith said...

What a fabulous gift! I would have died for my own machine when I was a kid...and I'm so glad we didn't watch much TV and there were no video games or cumputers back then. I can only imagine how different my creative spirit would be if those things had existed. YAY for you and your Mom for keeping Madeline thinking creatively.
Peace & Love,