How exactly do I type, if I don’t want the Starbucks-sipping, friendly-old-couple the next bench over to see my sloppy, million-dollar-red fingernail job?
No vampire at fault here; just my two-year old earlier this morning, in a moment of Pre-Creativity flow. I couldn’t stop her. I didn’t even want to. I let her paint away. No rush. No comments.
Of course she didn’t thank me for my sanguine permissiveness. Instead, she stepped back to admire her work. I felt proud of her too, not for her spa skills, but for her pride.
I’m a good mom, and regardless of what my coffee-shop neighbors think, I’m happy to have scary, possibly-mentally-disturbed-mom fingers.
Knowing when to interrupt children, like any art, takes practice. But undisturbed skill-building moments are crucial for future Creation.
While I played patient princess for the 2 yr.old, my 11 yr.old sat trying to paint in peace in a Monart class, but could not. The teacher made suggestions and gave out tips unsolicited on the minute. My daughter said,
Mom, the class was fun, but… this teacher kept telling me to add something here or change my shading there. She’s nice, but she keeps interrupting me!
The teacher’s failure to adopt her student’s point of view, if only for a moment, makes her infinitely less effective. A student unable to enter flow for a teacher’s interruptions could lose respect for the teacher. If the student is well-socialized, she’ll divert mental energy away from the project to fulfill the teacher’s need to be heard.
A few doors over from the art class, my 8 and 6 yr.-olds were constantly responding to a teacher also, in a Taekwondo class. Master Kang said,
They did. He said,
They moved even faster to dodge his kick-mitt. Both children definitely in flow, trying hard to follow every order to fulfill a shared dream of invincibility to evil forces they read about in books. Interruptions sometimes make flow possible, but if my Taekwondo children are to play in the art, they will need mental energy to do it. The mental energy they now use to follow the Master’s split second calls.
Just in case you’re wondering, my littlest one seemed in flow, too. She closed her eyes and drank milk. Slow and comfortable. In a perfect rhythm. I did not interrupt her either.