If I believe (and I DO) that we're all created to be creative, it behooves me to find ways to enable my children to recognize their gifts of creativity as well. Trouble is, DS12 doesn't see himself as particularly creative -- unless we're talkin' Lego. Even though he often looks speculatively at random pieces of refuse and exclaims, "Hey, Mom -- this could be used to make art," he views ME as the artist, not himself. That troubles me. So, I'm determined to find opportunities for him (and my whole family) to express themselves creatively.
Yesterday, I think we latched onto something. . . . In recent months, he discovered that there was a cookbook to accompany Brian Jacques' Redwall series.
He was determined to get that book, and finally succeeded this past week. Then he began begging me to let him make supper using recipes from the book. Well, hey -- it doesn't take much for me to hand over the oven mitts and let someone else make dinner! So, yesterday afternoon he set to work making "Turnip, 'Tater, and Beet Root Pie":
(The white corner is the section with goat cheese especially for his sister, who is allergic to cow cheese ;)
And then we made Redwall's "Honey-Baked Apples" stuffed with dried cranberries (we added cinnamon to the recipe):
Did I mention that said son has a strong aversion to vegetables and fruit????????? He devoured BOTH dishes exclaiming how good they were! He and his siblings had double portions of the vegetables! Go figure!
While things were cooking and DS12 was walking the dog, I decided we needed to take things a step farther and really get all Redwallish. I wanted him to know I was onboard with him and his little creative outburst, so I set the table to reflect the atmosphere of the abbey he'd grown to love. I found a brown table cloth (actually -- it was a curtain that DH picked up thinking it would make a good table cloth, clever fellow that he is!) which had a texture that reminded me of wood. It was covered in stains, but DS13 read my mind when, after commenting himself that the fabric looked like wood (!!!!!) he said, "The stains just look like knots in the wood." Oh, how that made me smile!
Then I "shopped the house" and found an assortment of decorative pieces that I thought were fitting for a festive table set by hares and moles and badgers: a swatch of fabric with vegetables and flowers, wood and metal candlestick holders with earthy coloured candles, a wooden box filled with straw, a geranium slip left over from summer, and a branch of pussy willows picked last spring):
While we didn't have enough for the whole family, I thought these dishes that a friend had given me also suited the theme:
Oh -- a tuna soufflé to accompany the meal, and we had a grand, themed dinner!
I think DS12 really enjoyed making and eating his creations, so perhaps we've found a creative culinary gift! And everyone had fun imagining that we were real Red-Wallians ;)
But I'd like to find more ways to encourage creativity in those, like DS12, who are not necessarily "artistically" bent so that they can truly learn to see the Creator in themselves . . .
I posted last year about our Art Fair, which in my mind was a great success. However, I've since learned that the idea of a second annual event, for some (including DS12), has been met with groans instead of cheers. Apparently we need to tweak things a bit. I'm wondering if we need to broaden the horizons and make it a Creativity Fair instead of an Art Fair -- so children could explore any aspect of creativity that appeals to them -- architecture, cooking, sewing, building, interior design, writing, jewellery making -- anything creative. Do you think that might make a difference?
I'm keen to hear your ideas! How can we encourage creativity in those who really don't recognize that they, too, are created to be creative?