Well, I used to consider myself a creative person. But in the past 5 years my creative self has changed. Maybe learning and living Dutch took its place. That's a theory a few of my friends and I have. That we are so busy concentrating on adjusting to this new culture that our mind can't focus on the person we used to be. In any case, less and less frequently my papers and scissors and glue and all my little treasures come out from hiding. I used to live amid all the mess and every day do some creative activity. My son grew up surrounded by art supplies. And my house was always a mess. That's another theory...with a family, the kitchen table can't always be covered in half-finished works of art! Anyway, this weekend oma had a birthday. I got out all my supplies for the kids to make her something crafty and they did. Jari loves art. He's also very good at it, a trait I like to think comes partly from me. Since I was his age my favorite birthday gift was paper and pens wrapped up in shiny tin foil that I would also keep to use in one of my projects. I still ask for art supplies on those specail holidays with the hope that I will use them. I still love those creative moments I have. But I'm not the same. In the place of my art came a husband, my son and our home. Which is more important? Naturally I choos my family. However, more and more I long to have pieces of the old me back. I want to once again be more outgoing and self assured. I want to feel independent and energetic. I want to be creative! As I didn't clean up the kitchen table and the mess was overflowing onto the groundstill on Sunday morning, I decided to sit down and try to make oma a birthday card. I opened up the paints and got a fresh sheet of paper. I felt those old tinkles in the back of my head as I started washing color onto a page. I didn't have a real plan, as I never do when I start creating, but suddenly my work was underway and a bouquet of flowers started to emerge. I was using an example, but what was coming through made me feel proud. I sat for a good hour just creating this one little bouquet of hydrangeas to look like the notecards we gave her as a gift. And when I was done, I held it up for my kids to see and they said "That looks just like oma's card!" I knew my little creative session was a success. Oma would receive a handmade card and I had fulfilled a longing within myself. I think I will make it a point to bring out my supplies more often, not for the kids, but for me. While I am in creative mode I feel strong and self assured and free and proud. I can conquer the world in the form of one little "work of art". I am creative!