21 Feb

So, does anyone know how to get crayon out of, well, everything? My girl turned 19 months recently and is currently the resident artist of the house.

I know, I know..put the crayons out of reach. I do! Her brother gets them down for her while I’m in the bathroom and then he finds a comfy spot to settle in and watch the fun ensue. Earlier in the week she scribbled on about 5 square feet of hardwood floor in dark blue crayon. I won’t show you a picture of that because I don’t want to give you a heart attack (which is what basically happened to me when I saw it). Also I’m not one of those cool parents who, when their kids make a gargantuan mess, immediately grabs their camera to capture the whimsy of it all. No, my first instincts sent me running for the rags and cleaner and I scrubbed. Maybe I’ll regret that one day, as I’m watching them drive away to college, or walk down the aisle. But hey, it’s hard to change your natural instincts! I like a clean house. Or definitely just not crayon all over everything.

I also felt bad later because what if my baby has such a high level of creativity that she just has to get it out however she can? She must create!!! And here I am squelching that with my rags and Method bottles. People try to squelch Banksy too, but it doesn’t stop him. Drat, I’m no better than the squares who try to suppress free thinkers.

People who excel in their crafts always talk about how their parents turned themselves upside-down to give them outlets to do what made them happy as a child. I think I remember Gabby Douglas’ mom talking about being basically penniless because the gym fees were thousands of dollars per month. Plus she let Gabby move halfway across the country to train at like, what, 12? I don’t know how I would handle it if I was in her shoes, but I can imagine I would be like “Sorry hon, you can’t do gymnastics anymore. Mommy and Daddy have lost their house.” It’s got to take some incredible faith to trust your child enough to follow them into something so uncertain. Plus think about all the gymnasts who train like that but don’t win gold at the Olympics. It’s a risk.

I know ultimately, if the situation arose where either of my kids fell that much in love with something, I would do anything I could to help them grow and continue with it. I just might be around a little less on account of the three jobs I’m working.

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