My son cannot stop creating. I don’t remember all the things he has made, although I wish someone would. Stuffed animal clothes, blankets, weapons, endless Lego worlds, transportation devices,guns, catapults, and duct tape dresses for his sister’s barbies. A week ago he spent half an hour cutting letters out of maple leaves so he could write “Happy Father’s Day/Birthday,” across the seat of the rocking chair.
He is taken again with sewing and his eye for re-purposing is very keen. We had a chicken dinner. The next morning, I found a needle made out of chicken bone. A few days ago he was carefully stitching navy thread around the edges of a Kleenex. Frustrated, I demanded the needle. My admiration for his creativity did not dent my irritation at having my needle borrowed. It had only been the night before that another ill begotten needle stolen by Girl one had greeted my shoulder as I leaned back against a couch.
Needle in hand, I proceeded to mend more wrongs on the path toward tidy and well disciplined. Half an hour later I passed by Boy two, still pouring over his Kleenex. The thought that he had retrieved yet another needle incensed me, but closer inspection revealed that he was sewing this time with thread and a nail. Gently, he would poke a hole, then set the nail aside and jimmy the thread through. Repeat. Painstakingly repeat. If anything, he was taking more joy from his nail sewing than from the needle sewing before.
Why is a good question. I had made it clear that I thought sewing a Kleenex was a waste of time, why didn’t he quit then? Why didn’t he quit when I took away the needle? We don’t own a museum, so most of what Boy two labors over is not saved. He is usually too busy creating the next thing to care. He gives away Lego masterpiece creations to people who own ten or twenty times more Lego than he does. He doesn’t care. He makes things because that is who he is and he doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think. When he’s tires of making things, he reads or plays.
Recently he brought home some pictures from art class. He showed me a picture with a B+ on the back. “I don’t know why I got that – it looked good to me,” he said and shrugged his shoulders. “Whatever.” But that was the end of it. He went unimpeded to work on his current creation because that is what he does.
Boy two needs me to make him brush his teeth and change his underwear. I need him to remind me that worrying if you’re good enough to do what you were made to do is silly. When you’re born to do something, you do it.
I am in negotiation to acquire the Kleenex with nail and the chicken needle. I want them framed. To me, they say: Be who you are to the very best that you can – the rest is chaff in the wind.