by Carrie Wells
I decided Lydia & I would make Valentine's Day robots today. I had in mind what I wanted Lydia's robot to look like, but I also wanted to give Lydia the freedom to design her own robot. So I cut out a whole bunch of pieces to build "my" robot, gave them to her with a blank sheet of paper, and allowed her to glue them together as she wished. Here's Lydia's Valentine's Day robot:
Wow, that was not at all what I had in mind! Lydia used the pink piece like a hat and the rectangle as a face. She turned the smile upside-down and made the arms, legs, hands, and feet look all crazy. Here's what I had in mind when I cut the pieces out:
So, the simple lesson learned is that it's great to let your children be creative. We shouldn't set boundaries regarding art and creativity ~ Let them use their imaginations!
But then I thought some more and realized that there is a much greater lesson here. I told Lydia we were making robots. In Lydia's mind, what she created was a robot. I was inclined to tell her where to place each piece to make a "real robot" (according to my definition), but I stopped myself. I was reminded that everything in life is about perspective. From Lydia's perspective, she made a robot. From my perspective, I made a robot. Our robots look very different, but we are calling these works of art the same thing: robots.
I'm sure as she grows and matures, we'll encounter this same situation many times - where my idea of a clean bedroom is different from her idea. My idea of a good birthday gift is different from her idea. My idea of staying out late is different from her idea. My idea of a good college major is different from her idea. But she's her own person with her own ideas...and even when I disagree, I hope I can remember our robots and smile...and find some way to place our ideas alongside one another.