Saturday, May 29, 2010

creative license

Trying to involve the bambini in my many creative interests is something I've always tried to do, although the most obvious one -- playing the piano -- I don't do as much as I would like to.  It's really one of my greatest outlets for expression, but I find it very difficult to focus on a piece of repertoire while managing the scene with the bambini.  We do sometimes noodle around together.

I like to sew and take on other crafty projects as well as play the piano, but I am saving many of the ideas I concoct or read about for a season when the bambini are less dependent upon my constant attention.  I know that time will come. 

While it might appear that I've left the creative scene of music-making and writing that was my daily occupation for a long time -- and there are times when I really miss that, I realize that that the most worthwhile and significant creative pursuit I can and do make is the purposeful, attentive, and loving minute-to-minute care and interaction with my bambini.

I take creative license in
  • tinkering with drinkable yogurt recipes
  • spelling out acceptable avenues for hammering inside, 
  • finding ways to integrate our faith into the fabric of our daily lives, 
  • cultivating virtues in all of us by (attempting to) balance the needs and interests of the three bambini all at once,
  • doing something literally creative with the bambini like baking or an art project, 
  • getting the instruments out and having a "concert"
  • researching and testing natural means of home and health care, and (among other ways)
  • coming up with a response to the younger lad's bedtime request to "tell me about tarantulas, Mama"  (answer: "how about I tell you about the night you were born?"  "No thanks -- tell me about tarantulas."  "Daddy knows more about tarantulas than I do.  I try to stay far away from them.")
But while that might be true, this creative mama has a few other irons in the fire.  This online chronicle and its sister foodie venture are two such examples.  I often have the camera out, trying to capture the everyday moments as they unfold in still pictures and videos.  I don't take a lot of posed shots (that's one of those exercises in futility); instead I take lots of shots, hope a few of them turn out, and revel in the creative challenge of captioning those few "keepers".  I've also taken to writing something down about each child in my daily agenda every day -- something they say or do or some milestone they've passed or something about which they were excited or even symptoms of sickness or other indicators of something amiss.  Far from a full-out scrapbook (let's not even broach the subject of baby books), but at least it's a little something to mark the ways -- big and small -- in which they grow and change each day. (It's actually something my mother has done for a long time.  It's always a hoot to read back through the daily doings of a few months -- or years -- ago.)

I may not have complete control over my time and how I spend it during this season of our family life, but with a little creativity, I hope to mark the passage of this tender time while fostering the development of each soul entrusted to my care.

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