I pulled out the manila folder, frayed around the edges. A 4th grade boy cannot be expected to use a paper folder for an entire year and keep it fresh, after all.
Stuffed full, I opened it up and picked up the first piece of paper lying on top. The title:
The first three lines of his descriptive poem gave me chills. They were so simple, written from the perspective of a boy who’d been told to describe the color blue to someone who was blind.
Blue is the color of the water in the ocean.
Blue is the color of the sky high above your head.
Blue tastes like blueberries.
The descriptions were rich, and I haven’t been able to eat a blueberry since I read his words without thinking that they taste like the color blue.
Like any mother, I am my children’s biggest cheerleader. I see their potential faster and more vibrantly than any other person. I know exactly how they’re bent, where they are strong, and where they are weak.
I can also be their biggest critic. I see wasted potential, and I feel as though I must draw it out of them or risk some sort of unspoken failure. I see their natural sin patterns, and I cringe when they rear their ugly heads in public.
Sometimes, though, these children of mine surprise me entirely. I knew my oldest to be creative and imaginative, but he tends to stifle it, especially as he gets older, and I forgot.
I forgot that he has a knack for words. I don’t know how I forgot, because he uses a lot of words day in and day out.
Some skills are so obvious. Athletic ability is a skill that doesn’t hide. An athletic child spends his days in pursuit of his passion. I have two athletic children. I know exactly where they stand in their abilities because one is constantly upside down, or flipping off of jungle gyms, while the other goes nowhere without a ball in his hand.
But the creative child? They can be harder to pin down. Some creative children are easy to spot. They spend their days in make believe, costumes the uniform that gets them from sun up to sun down. Other creative children, however, tend to let their creativity bubble beneath the surface. But it’s there. You just might have to prompt it out of them.
Describe the color blue to someone who has never seen it.
Blue tastes like blueberries.
The brilliance in that simple line is all one needs to draw a visual. Sweet, refreshing, blue.
Are you a writer looking for inspiration? Watch your children. Soak in their natural creativity. Ask them to describe the color blue and see what they come up with.
It just might inspire a little creativity of your own.
In any case, you may find yourself with a craving for blueberries and a new found admiration for your child’s imagination.
Happy Monday, and Happy Creating!
Join the mailing list
and be the first to receive posts and updates from Kelli.
You'll also receive a FREE excerpt from the award winning Like A River From Its Course!
I have often thought of how I would describe color to someone who had never experienced it and I always come up short of words. This is lovely. I don’t think I will ever feel the same about blueberries again, and that is a good thing.