Pause Life for a Moment- His Creation or Mine

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JDaniel’s oldest and most dear friend Jake turned four last week. Jake’s mom decided to hold his birthday party at a local firehouse.

Fire Truck
She is an expert baker and cake decorator. I was not surprised to see this beautifully decorated fire truck at his party.

Fire Truck Cake
Before we headed over the party I suggested to JDaniel that he draw a fire truck that we could place in Jake’s present bag instead of making or buying a birthday card.

I laid out crayons and copy paper for both of us to draw on. This was going to be an opportunity to teach JDaniel how draw a simple fire truck using simple square, rectangles and circles. I would show him how to draw one and then he would create his own version of the fire truck.

Once things were setup on the kitchen table, I called him over to create with me.

He took a seat right next to me and listened to my plan. He watched me show him how to create a fire truck. When I had finished, he pronounced it to be a very nice fire truck.

Fire Truck Drawing
Now it was his turn to create a fire truck. I had given him an example of what the final product should look like. I waited with baited breath to see what he would create.

He selected a red crayon just as I had. He placed it on the paper and made a gigantic circle. A circle wasn’t needed until it was time to the fire truck was done and then it won’t need that big of a wheel.

He continued drawing adding several dots and some long  and short lines to the circle.

The teacher in me started to think about what I have said wrong in my directions that lead to a big circle and not a square or rectangle.

The teacher continued to wonder if he had forgotten how to draw a rectangle or a square. Maybe I had only dreamed that he knew how to draw them in the first place.

Finally the mom in me kicked in and finally asked JDaniel what he was drawing.

Fire Cat Drawing
“Oh! I am drawing a fire cat! Jake loves cats and fire. I thought he would love this.” JDaniel announced.

“Should I write down what it is on the paper?” I asked.

JDaniel looked horrified. “Mom, he will know what it is!” JDaniel declared.

Part of me wanted to write down what it was! Part of me wanted it to be a truck just like the one I had drawn.

The wise part of me paused for a moment and realized that this wasn’t my drawing it was his. That wise mom part stopped to think about how JDaniel would feel if I insisted on it being my way.

It is that wise mom part that I hope will prevail in instances like this and remember that when JDaniel creates the creation he makes is his not mine.


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  1. says

    oh you’ve hit a heartstring. I love the artwork of children. I love it. They haven’t been constrained by their creativity yet, they draw and mean it. I was an art major and I can’t tell you how ANGRY it makes me that people TELL children what color to make a lady bug.

    Okay I get that they are trying to teach them…but in reality a lady bug is not actually solid red. There are tones and shades a person will miss if they stick the poor little bug in the red box. I haven’t checked, but I’m betting you COULD find some purple on a real life lady bug.

    Anyway I’m so glad you let him express his creativity. The world needs more fire cats!

  2. says

    I love how creative kids can be – a fire cat! How awesome!
    It’s hard sometimes to not listen to that teacher voice… But letting them be creative their own way – priceless.

  3. says

    This is a terrific and instructive story. I am guilty as charged in often trying to “guide” my daughter too much in her projects and then wondering why she rarely chooses crafts as her way of self-expression. Hmm…

  4. says

    Oh, I so struggle with this sometimes. The perfectionist in me sometimes wants to “help” my 3yo with her creations, but then I guess it wouldn’t be hers, right? A good lesson for us to learn.

  5. says

    Love his fire cat! This happens all the time with my younger son and I have to remind myself to pull back and let him do his thing. And the cake!! Wow.

  6. says

    I often want to take over too when my kids aren’t doing something how I think they should. It’s hard to sit back and just let them do their thing.

  7. says

    I wish I could make cakes like that too! I think it’s funny how my kids are SO offended it I don’t know exactly what their drawing is. It is just so obvious to them! lol

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