A lot can be learned from a child. Seeing the world through their eyes and attempting to answer their questions. Sometimes it is overwhelming and a struggle to have just the right answer. Sometimes it is impossible. Lately my little one manages to throw me for a loop constantly. What do you say when a kid asks you why someone is mean, or why we have to stay away from strangers? Or what to you tell your child when they inform you that they want to be an angel, right now! Some of these things take a bit of creativity and the ability to be on your toes! But than there are other times, wonderful times when I can sit back and enjoy watching and listening as she explores and discovers on her own.
Recently we have been doing a lot of painting, every evening I am asked if there is time to paint as soon as we get home. It is hard for me to say no to such a request because such joy and learning comes from doing creative things, so usually the answer is yes. Our walls are now plastered with paintings with names jotted on them for who they will soon go to and as I look at these paintings I look at them as an artist. Yes they are paintings by a child with no thought in mind of an actual image, no realism at all. but if you were to ask her which is for which person, she can tell you because she was very intentional in her painting for the person she was painting for. Already she sees that boys like different things from girls, our culture is not hidden from her and she spends a lot of time with a boy who is very much a boy. She paints pictures using browns, blues, and greens for the boys. For girls she picks pinks, reds, yellows, purples. When she sits down to paint I have trained myself to not second guess what colors she wants to paint with, this is her painting and who am I to say that brown should not go with pink. Quite the opposite actually, that painting is one of my favorites as it turns out. So, back to my point. I am learning or relearning through my child that it doesn't matter what the finished product is when you are creating art (at least not entirely) it is largely the process. The joy of creating and experimenting and hopefully in the end the product will reflect that of the process!
One other bit I want to share as a look into a child's mind. The other night Hannah and I went over to my brother's house to help Alison do some baking, not sure we were much help really, but it was fun. During the process of mixing together the wet ingredients for making muffins Alison pulled out a hand mixer and told Hannah that we need to beat the eggs. Hannah's response was "Are they trying to get away?" To Hannah the word beat means win, as in I'm going to beat you to the door. Considering how much baking I do with her I am surprised that she didn't understand the word beat when referring to eggs but maybe she just never considered before what it could mean.