Thursday, May 6, 2010

Scissors, Tape and Glue

For good or bad, one of the consequences of being crafty is that my kids have been encouraged to play around with scissors, tape and glue since birth. This was great for years, as long as I was the one getting out the supplies and providing structured time in which to be creative.

As they have gotten older (at 4 and 8, they seem so old now), the kids don't need my direction as much. Now they just use up my supplies at an alarming rate. They can demolish a ream of paper and a $3.50 roll of tape in a matter of days. And they leave behind a terrible mess.

Today's masterpiece:
Megatron costume with guns and a helicopter rotor

Then I get mad and think of all the money they are wasting. I yell and take away the supplies and banish them from the kitchen table. Sometimes I remember to have them pick up their mess first. But seriously, what's that about? These experiences are the stuff childhood memories are made of.

I think that is about me being in control. I like to think of them as extensions of myself, which would mean they only move or act when I give the message. Yeah, right. I can guide, steer, direct, whatever you want to call it. It's probably even ok if I give some boundaries to the tape usage. But the reality is that I am not in control. These children are unique people with personalities distinct from mine.

The One who is in control has given my children a desire to create. They draw me pictures with fantastic stories attached to them. Using scissors, tape, and glue, along with sugar cubes, cotton balls, Q-tips, paper clips and pebbles from the backyard, they make a scene with a campfire and a tent. Where Boo leads, Rooster follows; and I frequently end up with two similar creations. It is fascinating to see the creativity spilling beyond the boundaries of what I have shown them.

This creativity is not just something I started by stocking an art bin. Curiosity, the insatiable need to explore and to discover how things work, this is a gift. We are all given a gift in childhood, the gift of wonder. First we are amazed by the world around us; then as we appreciate it, we are amazed all over again to discover that we were created to be a part of this big, curious world.

"Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!"
Psalm 139: 14-17

I suppose the depth of my obsession for keeping that art bin stocked comes from a passion to foster that sense of wonder, to help my children hold on to it as long as possible. They themselves are unique creations, each with a purpose in life, and I want nothing more than for them to reach for that destiny with eager, outstretched hands.

If only I could remember that when I'm looking all over the house for a piece of tape still on the roll.


  1. Krista; Thank you, I needed this. You are so right! We try to squeeze out all of our children's 'imperfections' - but we forget that they were created with them by the One who designed them. And by the way; don't we replace their 'imperfections' with our own?

  2. I have been behind on your blog and have just realized how busy you have been.

    Great writing. These posts are the reason I haven't been posting. Nothing profound to say, so I'd rather read your deep thoughts.

    I hope you're well.


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