From September 2009

One of the offshoots of some of my recent reading, as well as just feeling a transition in the boys, has led to my attempts to integrate more creativity into all of our lives. I've been greatly influenced by Amanda Blake Soule's (Soule Mama) blog and her first book (i can't wait until the second one gets to our library!) And have embarked upon creative attempts in a several different directions. Partly i'm interested in incorporating more "arts and crafts" in a straightforward manner into our lives. And partly i feel something a little more complicated about wanting to slow down more with the boys and have time to actually create together. So "create" has taken on a very relaxed interpretation in the past several weeks.

Practically I've approached the idea of "creating more" by re-tuning our schedule to allow tv/videos/computer only on the weekends. It's amazing how this helps open up little pockets of time. I've started a binder of kid friendly projects that i've been using to select one big project for each weekend. I also reorganized all the art supplies so that both the "no assistance necessary" (crayons, color pencils and the like) and "some assistance necessary" (pompons, "real" glue, beads) are within Henry's reach. The two biggest contributors to forward progress though have been buying a small desk for Henry so that he has a dedicated "creative" space, and sitting down with Henry to water color, cut, or just create.

From September 2009

Henry's very excited about his desk and it has given him a little special space that is out of the way and lets him go off and have some alone time when he needs it. As Henry and Silas get closer, they get more and more intertwined. There bond has grown for sure, but so has (at least Henry's) need for some alone time. This desk was a pretty crucial step in helping them find a way to establish this.

You'll notice that so far i'm only talking about Henry in all of this. Silas is not interested in "art" right now and only very fleetingly will deign himself to color or paint. He was exactly the same way with books for a very long time and only just recently became interested in sitting still to be read to. This has prompted the biggest creative development for all of us-- periodic book time. Sometimes they don't go willingly, but i find that if i can get the boys to the couch or the bed or the playroom floor and agreeing to a book (or at least who gets to pick first) everyone's blood pressure drops several beats and their breathing becomes more regular. I can just sense it happening for them and *feel* it happening for me-- even when 2 minutes before i was aware of my last nerve stretched taut.

The coming fall weather helps. I can forsee a winter of evenings huddled around the kitchen table, long weekends spent in the middle of big and small projects. The image is at least a good bit enticing although for the part of me wishing summer would never end, i feel like i have some new ideas to meet the long hibernation that i know is coming. I promise more pictures of all the fruits of our work to come soon.

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