At the Seedlings Family Kick Off that Jonathan posted about last week, one of the questions we parents were asked was, “What’s your passion? What will you bring to Seedlings, as a helper?”
I was mulling it over when Jaime, sitting next to me, said, “For you, it’s nature, of course!” She’s right. I love to be outside and exploring, steeped in the sights and sounds and smells of nature. I love the feeling I get when I immerse myself in a forest or a lake or a desert. Fresh air calls to me, even if it’s just the tiny rectangle of my front yard.
Some of my favorite memories from childhood (another thing we talked about at that fruitful meeting) happened outdoors: snorkeling in a salt pond, climbing in and behind the giant rhododendron bushes in my backyard, combing the woods for edible mushrooms with my father and sisters. And there are many more.
From the time they were infants, I’ve been bringing my boys to all my favorite natural places, in the hopes that they too will consider nature a passion of theirs. My older son had his toes in the ocean when he was just days old.
What about you? What are your passions, either as a parent or as a person? Are you conscious of how they might have been formed? Are you passing them along to your children?
Leave a comment and let us know!
© Victoria Green and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2011
Oh, that’s easy! I’m passionate about giving kids the opportunity for open-ended, process-oriented creative experiences (versus “this is what we’re going to make and this is how we’re going to make it”), and I absolutely love where we live–in the summer anyway. 🙂 There’s no place I’d rather be than coastal Rhode Island during the summer, and my kids and I have had a blast this summer exploring it. Whether it’s finding snakes & frogs in our own yard, fish and crabs in the salt pond, or sea stars and different crabs in the tide pools, my own enthusiasm & respect for these environments is definitely getting passed along to my children. I’m really sad and resentful that this is coming to an end as school begins.
Susan asks us what we’re passionate about each year at the Seedlings Kick Off meeting, and I haven’t always had an easy time coming up with an answer. I remember trying to answer this question for the first time a few years ago and drawing a total blank. Last year my answer was… “um, um photography? I guess? I do kinda love that…” When I was asked the question this year, I was excited to have an immediate answer: writing! and photography! of course!
I think it’s really telling, the way my answer has changed over the years.
I’ve written about this before, but I feel like my first several years of motherhood were a total blur. I spent most of my time thinking only of my kids (as is natural when you have very young children)… but consequently I totally forgot about myself as a separate person with, not just a couple, but *many* intense passions.
I spent a really great introspective summer writing and playing and really thinking about what I love the most in life. And now I’m proud to say I have a huge list of passions! I definitely think pursuing these passions is making me a better parent and person. Diving whole-heartedly into the activities we love is wonderful modeling for our children!
I knew what your reply would be, Amy! Reading your blog, I’ve been so impressed with how dedicated you are to doing creative projects with your children. My boys love to do art, but sometimes I find it too easy to just slap some supplies in front of them while I do something else. Maybe I should carve out a day or two where we all sit and work on a project together.
I miss RI a lot in the summer (and in spring and fall, too. Our winter kicks your winter’s butt). I was longing for a hike at Long and Ell ponds the other day.
Since my children are just a few years younger than yours, Jaime, this gives me hope. Maybe in a few years, my answer to the question will come easier, too. This time around, when Shannon asked, I was thinking, “Uh, keep the kids alive?”
We spent this morning with friends at Green Cay, and it felt wonderful to be there. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the air seemed a tiny bit cooler. There was a nice breeze, too. And lots of birds and critters! D saw a turtle covered with furry algae that he said looked like a beaver.
Love all the comments!
At the Museum of Fine Art in Boston this summer, I was amazed as Chihuly spoke of the inspiration for his famous glass collage ceilings. Through the audio guide he talked of endless hours lying in his mother’s flower garden, gazing up through the petals and leaves. Talk about passion….
I’ve never been incredibly thrilled by his work but hearing him speak of the process and watching videos of his collective at work has changed my attitude.
Yesterday, Martin and I spent our Sunday play date at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. Gazing up through hundreds of delicate glass pieces, I saw the Chihuly ceiling with new eyes.