When River was younger, we spent hours and days creating. We would lay craft paper down, and I would make rainbow houses and sheet castles and whip up whatever magic my mind would muster. My creative side, when it comes the children and what crafts and what mess we'll get into, has dwindled a bit. Sometimes, it seems easier to run and meet friends at the park, and let nature and friendships do the work. But there will always be a small part of me that truly misses those hours and days of creating pure magic out of nothing.
I initially heard about Seedling through a friend. She had purchased a craft for the kids to play with at the park. We discussed the lack of magic making at times, and in the midst of our conversation, she went on to praise Seedling's intentional and thoroughly curated process. Somehow, they do so with ease for us parents and our schedules, and children and their need for independence and creativity.
A few weeks later, River and I had the opportunity to give one of their craft activities a try. She chose the wooden people family. Peter and I actually had two wooden people (who resembled us) as our cake toppers on our wedding day, and River has really enjoyed playing with them over the years. I initially had hoped she would re-create our family, potentially giving my little wooden people a break. I was wrong. She decided to create all of her best friends, and even included their night nights and stuffies. She took extra care in mixing and matching their outfits, and giving some "Elsa hair," a curly fro, even a pretend green wig. Just because.
What I loved about watching her create that afternoon, is that she didn't follow my rules. I tried to guide her, but after my initial reading of directions, she took on the project, and I was just there to witness. Her friends had whatever eye color River chose, and their outfits were completely made from the stylist who lives in her imagination. She beamed with pride, when she gave herself the long green wig and psychedelic pants.
Later that night, as wooden River and her little wooden besties dried on the window sill, I overheard River discussing how her friends would react to the dolls she made for them. The next day, we brought them to summer camp all wrapped up, and River passed them out one by one. It was then, that I was reminded about the magic. It was still there. Magic takes different forms, and sometimes, I'm not the one who possess it. My kids are the creators. That's okay. It's beautiful.
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