I took my kids to the Indoor Go Kart and Laser Tag place for one of our final summer fun days. I’ve never done either (except of course for the Grand Prix track at Disney; but they have a “guide” in the middle of the lane, so you can’t really falter). Our heat was up and my youngest leans over and says, “Mom, not to remind you about getting old, but this will be good training for my brother to get his driver’s license.” (OMG! Really? his brother is 10, mind you!) We gear up – head sock, helmet, foam collar for the boys – and our engines are started. ZOOOOOOM…. these little carts go a heckuva lot faster than I thought they would. Up to 30 mph and they are off, screeching around corners, running into the occasional tire-covered pylon… ZOOOM!!
I lap them (a couple of times) and as I watch the sheer joy on their faces (when I can catch a glimpse of them), I realize they don’t know how to use their brakes! Is there a life lesson there, or what?!? At what age do we learn to use (the proverbial) brakes? To slow down and see what’s in front of us? To take time to reflect before – ZOOOOOOM?!?
And, in case you’re wondering, Laser Tag was a fun challenge! I had to threaten my oldest with grounding if he didn’t let me escape and stop shooting me. My youngest, the Halo king, wiped us all out and, of course, had the highest score.
I’m constantly amazed by the places my kids decide to put their foot down. You know, when they choose “that” moment to exercise their independence and prove to the world that they don’t need you anymore? I’m supportive of most of their efforts. It’s tough as a parent to watch them move forward without you. And even tougher to resist running up behind them when they stumble (metaphorically speaking, of course). We’re at the stage now that if I make a suggestion on how to accomplish a task, my son will do the opposite and I get this “look.” You know the one. The one that says “I’m doing this just to prove you wrong,” or, as it often happens, to prove me right, much to his chagrin. When the stakes are low, I let it all slide. After all, who will it really hurt if he wears his clothes inside out and backwards? Or, as in the layout below, he wants to eat his ice cream IN the pool? Sometimes you just have to let it go.
I returned from my vacation to an overflowing inbox of “real” emails, advertisements, spam… you name it. As daunting as the loads of laundry, I set in determined to reduce the number of mails in my inbox. After trolling through, deleting, etc., I clicked on “oldest” and found a note to myself from 2007. I had jotted a quick email for a funny thing my youngest said. This, of course, being the focused person I am, drove me to look through (digitally) pics from 2007 so that I could scrapbook the “moment” and, thus, be able to delete one more email. I found one from the right time period and scrapped a page. It was fun. No, the laundry is not done. No, the email inbox is still stuffed (thank goodness Gmail offers lots of space; says I’m only 28% full!). BUT, I was able to delete the note and mark something off from my to do list from very long ago! Consider the day a success!
I love collage! I consider myself a mixed-media artist and having the right adhesive is as important to me as having shelter, food and clothes. To keep me active in art, I teach art camps at KVPAC . ( A great place for kids to explore their creativity through art and theater. ) This week I taught 14 kids ages 5-8 the art of Collage and Assemblage.
I LOVE teaching kids. I taught adults for many years and grown-ups want to copy my sample to a “t.” Wheres’ the fun in that? Kids could care less what mine looks like. Show them the “how” and they deliver some really creative stuff! I always find it interesting at the differences in the kids. Some are tactile challenged and can’t stand to touch paper mache glue. On the other end of the scale are the kids that just want to run their hands through the tub of beads or shells because “they like how it feels.” There are the kids that dream up flying monsters that breathe oatmeal and the ones that, when drawing their house, want each brick to be exact.
This week, I was reminded about the drawbacks of teaching the 5-8 year olds – they don’t know how to communicate without poking you in the arm or tugging on your shirt! At one point, I was helping one child and I had 2 on my right and 2 on my left poking me in the arm and tugging on my shirt. I heard the one that said “I have paint on my hands” first. Then “can I wash my hands” from another. Sure enough, I looked down and had paint smears on one side and globs of glue on the other. If only I had planned fabric art collage for the week’s curriculum!
The project we completed as a class was this Creative Community Collage. We used the discarded foam board from the class next door (they used the circle cut outs) and collaged on 8×8 squares to place behind the openings. Most of the kids made at least one “hole.” They all had a say in what went where!
Kids are amazing and being around them in these classes inspires me! I’ll be back to doing my own collages again…. as soon as I finish peeling glue off my hands!