This morning, colored paper leaves spruced up our kitchen windows. My teenager had spent some late hours busy with arts and crafts and Netflix. Our house is the better off for this.
Which got me to thinking… what are the things a kid needs? The obvious ones, of course: steady meals and sturdy shoes and an arc of adult arms. But beyond survival, I see how my own children thrive into their imaginative spaces, busily not finding but creating their own niche.
As babies, their whole lives commenced literally turned into my heart to suckle, but now I see my kids intentionally widening their worlds, painting their bedrooms but also expanding their realms through deepening friendships and giggling nights, or their own journeys on foot or bicycle or down the highway.
What does a kid need? Perhaps what as an adult I need, too: freedom to spread out and explore, and a home to hold your artwork.
Here’s a few lines from what I’m reading now:
There was a period… with every painting or project when the life of that painting became more real to you than your everyday life, when you sat wherever you were and thought only of returning to the studio, when you were barely conscious that you had tapped out a hill of salt onto the dinner table and in it were drawing your plots and patterns and plans, the white grains moving under your fingertip like silt.
– Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life
What makes us who we are?