As I was putting some things away in the basement, I spied Amanda's spiral notebook that I bought her to start our joint story. She took it down there to show her friends on July 4th, and it obviously hasn't been touched since then. I will say that this week has been full of Vacation Bible School in the evenings and soccer camp in the mornings, so there's not a lot of extra time for creative endeavors. However, even if it remains unfinished, that's okay.
The spiral notebook served it's purpose. She did some creative writing, we shared an activity together, and it filled some time for several days that she did not spend watching TV. She has proudly shared it with friends, her dad, and her great-grandmother.
As I put away a craft book that she had bought before school ended, and looked at all the craft supplies in the basement as well, I thought, "What is it that prevents me from actually saying yes when she asks to do one most of the time?" This book has some pretty grand undertakings, and I don't know that she would want to complete them after cutting and shaping (boring but time consuming), and waiting for the paint to dry before it was time for the finishing touches. So what?
So what if she doesn't finish them? Is the purpose of making a desk storage caddy really to store her stapler, pencils and tape in a convenient yet cool place on her desk? Not for me. The purpose of crafts in the house is for her to occupy her time and maybe find a new talent or skill. If she doesn't finish, I think I'm okay with that.
I say "no" too often. Not because I don't want to sit down with her and help (although that is sometimes the reason for the no), but more often it's because I don't think that she will finish or that she will use it or be pleased with it. I really must remember that she is a child, and thinks like a child and reasons like a child. She takes pride in her accomplishments--finished or works in progress. She enjoys the process. She enjoys the beauty of play.