Coloring Outside the Box

When my oldest was in kindergarten, I braced myself for his first parent teacher conference. He is funny and kind, but also serious and shy. He has a lot of wonderful eccentricities and can sometimes be a bit shy and awkward. The biggest fear in my almost eight years of motherhood was him entering kindergarten and having trouble making friends. 

I held my breath as I stepped foot in that classroom. But as I sat down in that tiny child size chair, I was greeted by his teacher sharing that what he enjoyed most about Max was that he was an outside of the box thinker. He said that although Max is a quiet kid, when he does have something to say, it's always unique and interesting. I was so relieved that his teacher valued his creativity instead of labeling him as the weird kid. No matter how many kind things people have said about our children, this has been by far the most meaningful. 

Creativity has become an important rhythm in our family life. We want our kids to know that we value their creativity. We want them to think things through differently and solve problems in a way that works best for them. Sometimes, it's really hard to give them the space and freedom to be creative. It's sometimes hard to step back and let them be bored so they can use their imagination. It's really hard to let them mix the colors of the play dough and paint purple grass and pink water. But I have to remember that I want them to color outside the lines.