Creativity isn’t just for artists

Dear kids,

One of my favorite parts of being your mother is listening to you tell stories. Your stories are fantastic. You always surprise me with an acute observation, a twist in the plot, or a total left turn that makes me wonder if you’re still telling the same story. Your minds are so flexible and full of imagination. This is a beautiful thing, and it benefits all of us around you. I hope that you continue to be imaginative and creative throughout your whole lives.

If I were to tell you this today, you might say something like, “but I don’t like to draw.” Or “I’m not an artist.” But the thing is, creativity takes so many forms and is needed in so many professions.

Take this for example:

This is the western tip of the island of Alameda smack dab in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. For decades it was a Naval Air Station. Now it’s being repurposed into many things, including parks, trails, and open spaces. That repurposing takes enormous amounts of imagination. It’s a huge blank space. Creative people, who certainly don’t call themselves artists, are brainstorming, hatching ideas, and making plans to make it somewhere beautiful for humans and habitable for animals. Sometime in the future, we will go there and it will look very different than how it does today. There will be trails and benches and trees and wetlands. It will be amazing.

This kind of thinking and doing is happening all around the Bay Area. The future of the Sonoma Developmental Center is being reimagined. The entrance to the Castle Rock State Park is being designed. The top of Mt Umunhum is about to reopen to the public and has undergone a huge transformation.

And check out this in LA. They are finding and creating places for kids to play. I love how they’re thinking differently.

Kids, your ability to imagine, create, invent, and generally see what doesn’t yet exist is an essential skill. As your mom, I’m going to do what I can to exercise your creativity muscle. Even if you tell me you’re not an artist.

With all my love,

Mom