The Artist's Way Is Anything But Silly

Once I was at the park when a mom announced that her husband used to be a writer.

"He wrote for years before we got married," she confessed, "but now we have kids and I told him to put that silliness away."

I almost choked on my tongue so astounded was I at this woman's flippant disregard for her husband's creative life.

I've been reading

Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way

, a spiritual self-help guide for the creative who needs to get back in touch with his or her artistic side.  The first sentence of her book encapsulates the heart of why I was so put off by my acquaintance's commentary.

Cameron says, "

Art is a spiritual transaction.

"

Yes, yes it is.

Whatever art we chose to create, God works through us.  The creative desires He instills in us are in fact a part of His

will

.  For this woman to announce that her husband had no business cultivating his art was not only wrong, it also denied a part of him he was quite possibly supposed to nurture.

In my own life, the space (as scattered and as haphazard as it is) I create to make art is sacred and if someone I loved every told me to "put my silliness away," I daresay it would kill me.

Yesterday, after we finished school, I sent everyone outside. 

I'm feeling the end of the school year (and all the end of the year craziness) deep in my bones.

The dedication and energy and time it takes to homeschool this gaggle of energetic children is awesome.  Next week, when we close up our school shop,  I think I will be celebrating louder than all of these kids I educate.

So it was with great weariness that I ventured into the great outdoors yesterday afternoon, after we cleared away books and supplies and stray papers.

I buckled the baby into his stroller and I set myself to walking.  Some of the older kids pulled out a game of chess, some of the others pulled out their art supplies, and Christopher got busy building Lego castles. We stayed outside all afternoon with the soft wind whipping and tousling our hair and our skin soaking up the much needed Vitamin D. I felt content and happy as I strolled and noticed the kids felt the same way as they engaged in their own pursuits.

I can sometimes be hard on myself as a mom.  I think about all the things I don't do right, the mistakes I make with my kids, and how I lose my patience so easily.  

My perfectionism often terrorizes me in my vocation to motherhood.  

But as I walked the perimeter of our property yesterday,  I realized that while I do make many mistakes, there is one thing I know I'm doing well.

I'm giving my children the gift of time, time to play, to figure out what it is they

like

to do.  

I'm giving them time to make messes and to create and to discover who they are and what artistic endeavors God has planned for them. 

And although the world may tell them to quit "wasting time" because they must be productive and successful, I will never respond in that manner.

Unlike the woman at the park who chastised her husband all those years ago, I will

never

tell my children to put their "silliness" away for that "silliness" is where these children of mine will meet God.