The first-ness of our moments adds wonder and beauty to the most simple things. Glimpses of our day, like a butterfly gliding through our wisteria, feel as if they are visited by a Disney fairy godmother when we are little.
A walk through grandpa's garden is Narnia to the preschool set, and more rich and poignant than any CGI filled movie you could pay for.
But the lives of our little ones are chock-full of busy-ness. From homework in kindergarten to pee wee sports practice, our kid's lives are hectic.
Reading and art allow children to slow down, to do something calming and centering. Unbeknownst to them, while they are munching along with Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar or roaring with the terrible beasts in Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, they are expanding their imaginations and increasing their literacy skills.
If they can't read yet themselves, they sit with a loved one, experiencing closeness and developing an ability for meaningful discussions.
Appreciation of art and literature starts young, and happily they have no idea they are learning. Children have the special ability to have nothing attached to what they are doing--they are creating art or reading simply because they love it. There is no agenda attached to their creativity. They go with the flow, a gift that Picasso spoke about when he said "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist as we grow up." The magic in their completely un-self-conscious creativity allows them to be wholly in the moment, something we as adults can have a hard time with.
Our kids grow up so fast. Our days are filled with bills, cleaning, cooking, and a whole lot of reality. We are focused on test-taking in school and a very one sided IQ score that is probably decent at grading one's general knowledge base.
But what about creativity? What about those kids who are notoriously considered square pegs simply because the current system disallows for square holes?
The magic of childhood is lovely, and it would be nice to stretch at least some of that Abracadabra into our adult lives.
Reading and art are two examples of wizardry that seamlessly moves with us as we grow. Along with the obvious advantages of reading to kids when they are young and allowing them to create unguided art, these bewitching gifts stick--they are endless presents of love that happily never have to end.
I'd love to know of any books or forms of art you loved as a child, and what made them special to you.