Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Inconvenience and Creativity

Here's the thing: Charlie loves to paint. Also, he is three. Everything about his painting passion is inconvenient. He is messy. He uses fingers and paintbrushes interchangeably. His creative juices start flowing right around the the time I am starting to fix dinner or teach a new math lesson to two wriggling, impatient seven year olds. I keep the paints tucked away on a high shelf for reasons any sane mother of a toddler understands, which means I have to drag the stool to the closet and climb up on it and get down the paints and fill up the water cup and find him some paper and strip him down to skivvies because he is wearing a new Gymboree shirt and it is all just so inconvenient. 

And then, these words: "What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give." (P. D. James) 

I want these four kids to grow into people who can give love freely, forgive without record, assert themselves fearlessly, know who they are and what they were made to do, and pursue it with passion. 

Nurturing those things in each one of them is rewarding and hard and important and exhausting and the basis of just about everything I do, but there is one thing it is not.

It is not convenient. 

If you are laboring alongside me as a parent poured out every day for your children, whether they are at school or at home or all grown up, be encouraged. The absence of convenience does not indicate the absence of importance. Each yielding of what is convenient for what is hard is sewing seeds of goodness and truth and righteousness in your child. 

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