My four-year-old daughter appears to have entered her golden age of creativity. I frequently marvel at her artistic skills and her ability to see the potential uses for various mundane objects that can be turned into a piece of art. A check that needs to be deposited into a bank needs to be kept out of sight and, more importantly, out of reach of my daughter lest she turn that little piece of paper into a pretty yellow-and-white boat.
In addition to drawing, coloring and painting, all three of which my daughter enjoys doing as often as possible, she also uses other media for her creations. A number of empty tissue boxes lie stacked in the bedroom to be turned into rabbits, cats or, in one recent case, a "zoo" for animals made out of clay. A blue drinking straw cut into short pieces required a piece of string to be made into a bracelet. However, no string could be found so she cut a very thin strip of paper to be used as a replacement. After she had strung the pieces of straw, I taped the two ends of the paper together to finish the bracelet.
Of course, not everything my daughter does turns out for the best. Last week, she stuffed a small piece of purple crayon up her right nostril. Why? We have no idea. Fortunately, the ENT, after doing a thorough examination of my daughter's nose and sinuses, could find no piece of the crayon other than for purple stains. (We return tomorrow morning to the hospital for a follow-up exam, although I don't think we'll find anything at this time.). And just this afternoon, my daughter used her toothbrush on her feet, requiring that a new toothbrush be bought.
How do we lose this creative ability we had as children as we transition into adulthood? Is it because we realize the negative consequences from being too creative? (Now that my daughter knows how painful the nasal examination can be, will she ever put another piece of crayon up her nose again?) Or do we lose the time to be creative as homework begins to take up more of the playtime that was available to children before entering primary school? Regardless of the reason, I begin to realize that I need to enjoy watching my daughter's creative behavior while it's still in full bloom.
Update: I cross-posted this essay over at Daily Kos, where it was not only rescued (my sixth essay overall and the third in the past month and a half), but I also received a number of very nice comments there. Check it out!