Jane Arie Baldwin

Personal Tools for Living at the Highest Levels of You

Tag: creativity

Max Baldwin guest blogs: On the Importance of Friendship

As this is a time of great change it seems, in every facet of life, so too in our house where about a year ago Ruby changed her name and asked to be called Max. Now that Max is thirteen our quiet introvert has socialized, developing bonds of connection outside the family nucleus in the uncharted terrain of experiences to be had, lessons to be learned and wisdom to be gained.

In English class the other day, Max’s teacher asked the class to write an essay on the importance of friendship. her response blew me away. I’d like to share it here today:

Sometimes at night when the sea is very still, you can see the stars in its surface. The tremors of a breeze mix with the twinkle of an entire galaxy in the sky. More times than not, this sight can be so captivating that sometimes people forget to remember the ocean underneath. I am this ocean.

Because where some people may be busy appreciating the sky that I reflect, others might look deeper and see the still water underneath. 

My friends are the ones who waited long enough for the dawn. Waited for the stars to pass so that I could show my true self. They understand how my waves flow, how the fish inside of me swim, how I always fight against the storms that pass over me. How I can be still or I can be hectic, beautiful or terrifying. They stuck around through my stars and my moon to see my sun and my sky.

This is why friends are important. They will appreciate all of your beauties. They will take more than a glance and say more than, “Oh how pretty”. They will paint a picture of you in an angle that you have never thought to pay attention to. They will bring out not only your constellations but your clouds, too. Your tornados, your singing birds, your boats and your whales. They will take you for what you are an love you unconditionally.

So I will show my brightest stars and my prettiest planets for the whole world to see. But I will also disclose the shapes in my clouds and the rays of my sun to those who will take the time to notice it.

And I implore you, dear reader, to spot the people in life who not only discover your daytime but love it too, and hold onto them as if you will never let go.



The Power of ONE

My One and Only

My One and Only

If you come from a family of siblings as I do it’s easy to think that as a parent of an only child you are not giving your child enough because they spend so much time alone.  as far as social queues and interaction go.  Sure, as far as social queues and interaction go those of us with only children have to work a little harder to create more of what we see in the world — lots of little children running and playing together.  Even though that may seem like the norm and can trigger guilt on your part because your child has no siblings. Instead consider the opportunities your child has for personal growth because of all the extra undisturbed play time and otherwise creative time.  How many of us would have loved to be able to shut out our peers we grew up in the same house with and expand our creative time?  This for sure is a luxury of only children.

Here are a few general rules to remember when guilt sets in over not being enough of a mother to your only child or not providing your only child with siblings.

1.  Children are naturally imaginative and creative- give them the time and space to explore that. If you find yourself getting agitated with their free time consider what information that discomfort is conveying to you. Perhaps it’s time to add creative time to your routine.  Set up an easel and dust off a plank canvass or steep a cup of tea and write some words on a page.

2.  Only children don’t know what their missing – sure there comes a time when most only children beg for a sibling.  With my daughter, though, a little bit goes a long way.  After 3 or 4 days with the cousins she’s ready for some ‘me’ time just as siblings get over being with each other. She may not have the option of constant companionship the way those of us with siblings experienced it but given the space they develop a strong sense of companionship with their own inner world thus building self confidence and a very strong inner compass.

3.  Children are our greatest teachers. Let your child be your guide into the territory of imagination.  If you find yourself hitting up against a wall that says, “Nobody ever gave me this space of creation and imagination when I was little,” recognize that this bruise on your heart that can be soothed by diving deep into your creative expression. Just as an archaeologist dives into the Maya centers of Central America and pieces together stories of the past, let your pen, paper, paints and clays help reconcile those old hurts in you with acknowledgment and love.

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