Nearly two decades ago, when my son, Bryan, was just a kid (okay, he’ll always be a “kid” to me), he did a drawing at school. It was of him and I drawing together. On it, he wrote “My mom is an artist.”
To this day, thinking about him handing me that drawing when he got home brings a tear to my eye and a stroke of pride through my heart. Because from the time my kids were little, even before I was able to firmly profess it, they knew I was an artist. They announced it, excitedly. They shared it, with pride. They believed it.
While that means the absolute world to me, what makes it even more magical is that both my children, Bryan and Emily, have found a way to work art into their own lives. While their creativity has evolved from kitchen table crafts to art museums in New York City and textile designs in California, they’ve each embraced art with open arms throughout their entire lives.
I am incredibly happy that I was able to influence their creativity. Yet what they might not know is how much they’ve influenced mine. Helping them with projects; chaperoning their art field trips; painting in our backyard -- each and every time I got to make art with them, I found a little more inspiration to keep going myself. They influenced -- and continue to influence -- my creativity as much, if not more, than I was able to influence theirs.
While painting has taken center stage in my life today more than I ever allowed it to before, I am able to say that I never completely put my art on hold. I brought it out with my kids. I made it a part of their lives, and it grew and grew as part of mine.
They knew I was an artist. Now I know I’m an artist. Don’t shelve your creativity as a parent. Make it a priority for yourself and your children. Do it as much for yourself as for them. Creativity deserves to live, no matter age nor busyness. In expressing creativity, we can all live our own truths, and the connection you can find with your children through art is unlike any other.