Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Two" Visor

I'm not a perfect parent. I proved this to myself yesterday.

My son had his first homework for the week: decorate the visor provided in celebration of the 2nd Grade's 2nd day of school. The ideas given included using the number 2 and gluing pairs of items onto the visor. As always, I was excited about the project.

I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said he wanted to decorate the visor with the numbers on the assignment sheet, glitter stars from a gift bag his teacher gave him, and then he asked me if I could print out a few more numbers. While I printed out the numbers, I began to think of all the great ideas my son should use for his visor. I thought about overlapping the numbers all over the visor. And I thought it would be awesome to make some paper springs for numbers to dangle off the hat. And the sprinkles would be great to accent the dangling numbers!... And then we could... maybe I should get some... oh, and this would be great, too!...

I ended up handing my son the sheet of numbers he wanted and a whole bunch of other supplies so we could launch into creative bliss. And as my son started to glue numbers to the visor, I noticed they weren't the numbers I wanted him to glue to it, and he definitely wasn't overlapping them. I frantically told him he should overlap them and that we should add springs, at which point my son paused from his gluing and stared at me. Oops.

Almost immediately, I felt ashamed of myself and the roaring creative monster within me. I put my scissors down, looked at my son, and said, "I'm so sorry! This isn't supposed to be my hat, this is your hat! What would you like to do?" My son laughed at me and continued on with his vision, gluing the numbers and stars where he wanted, and not where the creative mom monster wanted.

I realized I have a lot to learn. There's a side of me that is a controlling, creative perfectionist, but I have to try my best to put this side of me on a very short leash -- if I don't, my kids will never benefit from the the creatively helpful, loving side of me... and that would be very sad! Forcing my creative vision onto my kids doesn't teach creativity -- it stifles it.

I'm so glad I stepped back when I did! If I hadn't, no one would ever have seen the wonderful creation that came from his heart and not mine.


  1. As I prepare to depart my house for our 1st day of school, I'm so thankful I read this first. This transcends into my realm of technology support as well. You, and the brilliant "two" visor, will be on my mind. :) - Em

  2. Thanks, Em! Sometimes it's just so hard to keep the ideas in a filter! Trying to remind myself to plant seeds and then water the seeds -- not plant seeds and then cover them with more seeds. I hope you have a wonderful year at school!