“You EXPIRE me!”


We have a “problem”. I’ve mentioned it here before…..but I assume many of you can relate. Whether with your own kids, or yourself. The issue of boxes. Of “keepsakes”. Of “treasures”. Of “creations”.

I am a sorter, purger and hope to be (in another life, perhaps??), a minimalist. And so my eldest’s obsession with art, creating and, dare I say it, “HOARDING” these keepsakes/treasures/creations can, at points, drive me batty.

I hoped for children with creativity, imagination and chutzpah. But some days, when the doodles, sculptures and mayhem start crowding me in on all sides, I go a little crazy. It’s like the little boxes are going to overtake me. Maybe one day, I’ll walk into Alex’s or Drew’s room and I won’t be able to find them.

No matter the day. No matter the time. No matter the to do list. If there’s a box in sight, then we are at risk for child #1 finding it and getting to work. Exhibit A:

One IKEA shelving purchase…..one Woodsie home and 2 race tracks….CHECK!

Despite my desire for cleanliness, for only keeping the necessary, I have a child with a wonderful memory who is always wondering where such and such creation disappeared to. I cringe. Bite my bottom lip and think to myself, “Uh, oh. City of Sunnyvale Recycling is enjoying that masterpiece as we speak.” Within reason, though, I’m trying to let go of my need for perfect order and control, and let my boys be boys. Let them get dirty in the mud and dirt out back. Let the boxes take shape into race tracks, drive in movie theater cars, castles, forts and pirate treasure boxes. And let go.

My friend, Sarah, sent me a link to this amazing video. And frankly, if any of us are still feeling the pull of not having so much disorder and creativity around us, for the mess and disorder it makes, then this video should cure us all.

Happy Saturday and Happy Creating!

(sadly for me, I’m spending time organizing receipts and working on budgeting, while Alex is make pirate patches, pirate hats, a hook arm, a treasure chest and accompanying map….ah, to be 4….)

p.s. My students and I had the gift of the talented Elisa Kleven joining us on Friday. She shared her books, her inspiration, stories of her childhood and how imagination and creating saved her. It was the cherry on top for me. The reminder that these messes and “disorder” might actually be birthing a career and love. For Elisa, it became a future of artistry and writing. I loved watching my kids in awe of her talents and accomplishments….one even commented, “You EXPIRE me!” We came to the conclusion that Elisa INSPIRED him. But, man, it was hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a funny word transposition. And the best part was stealing her to my house for a few hours with my boys. Alex had a blast drawing with Elisa and chatting. Drew spent the time screaming, crying and throwing things. Patience, though. No doubt, Drew will come around too….and begin his own efforts to EXPIRE—–I mean INSPIRE—-me!

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