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Sunday, December 15, 2002

Well, I oriiiginally wrote this sometime last weekend, and haven't gotten back to finish it till today. So I will just publish what I have before dd gropes and wails for me in her sleep...

Ahh! I escaped from the bed while my sweet dd's still sleep! Got the computer and a big, steaming mug of fresh coffee here beside me! I love stolen moments! I haven't had time to myself for a long time.....

We did some family bell-ringing for the Salvation Army yesterday. We really did it with ds's scout pack, and we and another boy and his mother took the first two-hour shift. The kids did really well. THey rang that bell and said greetings to passers-by, wether they donated or not. I think a lot of older folks were flabbergasted that two young boys were out there ringing the bell, as many stopped to just look for a moment. Many smiled, and donated, and when one of the kids said, "Thank You", they said something like, "Thank *you*, young man!" Maybe they feel that all is not lost for today's youth. (of course, we already know that!) Maybe they think that kids couldn't "work" for tha Salvation Army...until recently, I didn't know that bell ringers were volunteers from anywhere, either.

So dh and I took turns ringing with the boys, while the other pushed dd around in the "Big Yellow Car"- the grocery store's new shopping carts that look like race[plete with steering wheels for two kiddies. And oh! How they can roll and maneover! They are fun for the adult too, as the cart is sturdy enough for the adult to push and then jump on the cart and hang on while going downhill. Whee! (I have seen many dads and moms do this). THey boys took breaks too, and joined dd on the ride in the "Big Yellow Car". Any WIggles fans out there? Then your kids might like the Big___(fill in the color) Car for the same reasons my kids did. Can't beat free entetainment of a shopping cart for two hours!

I have been thinking about creativity a lot lately, and how kids express it. I remember an article in Mothering Mag a few years ago about "developing" artistic skill/enjoyment in kids, and how it was pointed out that coloring books stifle creativity, because the child doing the coloring is limited to just filling a color choice in a pre-drawn figure. Well, I can see that, but I don't think this sweeping generalization should be made for all children. There are kids who *do* express their creativity with coloring books. THe popular expression we have heard from time to time, "don't stay wthin the lines" says this. MAny kids don't, and modify the picture to suit themselves. Some kids are very happy with color choice as a creative outlet, adn that is enough. Some kids are what I think are mathematically-oriented and enjoy making patterns with color and texture, etc on paper, and that is very creative. My ds is more of the free-flow type, though. ("freeflow" and his name are synonomous) He just wants the basic paper and pens/pencils/markeers/paint, etc, and just prefers to draw right from his brain and imagination. THat is certainly creative, too. Llet's not judge what is creative and what isn't!

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