I have a confession to make: as I attempt to teach my kiddo lots of new things I'm learning new things too. One of the most important things I'm learning is that in life often times it's more about the process then about the results. While the results are very often very important sometimes the process is more so.
I'm sure some three year olds are quite interested in painting a flower or a dog, even if the painting ends up looking like a blob. My three year old is not. He's considerably more interested in seeing what happens when he forcefully shoves the paint brush into the paint container. Or what the end result will be if he very rapidly spins the brush all around on the paper. He wants to find out how far he can spread a blob of paint down his leg in one stroke. Or how may dots he can possibly create within a minutes time frame.
He loves painting vehemently but he loves the process and honestly not the results. As a mom, an artist, and somewhat of a perfectionist (although, I don't mind messes)I want to, almost at all times, instruct him on the "correct" way to do things. "Don't shove the paint brush in the container." "Keep the paint on the paper." "Don't make such a mess." Now I try and refrain from these "instructions." And I dare say I'm getting better about letting him experience the process day by day. But I'm having to try my hardest to look at the situation through the eyes of a three year old boy and having never been one myself it's a very interesting procedure. But despite some very bottled up moments on my part it's an awesome procedure as well. My son LOVES the processes of things. He's very intricate and analytical and wants to see "what will happen" and then he enjoys whatever the "what" is as it unfolds.
My sister in law gave my son an incredible birthday present of art supplies and learning materials. The super child friendly washable paints in the photo above were part of this gift. Before now I'd been letting him paint with a few bottles of NOT washable paint that I had on hand. And although I'd try and let him enjoy the process with those paints he's never before been allowed to paint like he did today. We've already scheduled messy painting session number two for this evening.
Now as I'm certain there are no three year old boys reading this post and I'm in no way instructing anyone on how they should teach a child, I write all of this to say, remember to enjoy, and to consciously experience the processes of life. Sometimes the process is even more important than the results, something we can all learn from a three year old, and something that is absolutely true. I too often find myself switching into robot mode and just going throughout each day. I wake up, do everything correctly (or to the best of my ability) and then retire for the evening. And repeat. But, especially now when I'm trying to shake this winter funk I need to look, notice, see, and experience. I am really truly learning this in a new way from my son.
Now we're off to build a snow fort! Now that the temps have strayed from the deep freeze and hopefully as the snow will be melting SOON it's time to go out and play in the white stuff!!!