One of String Bean’s favorite projects at school is making necklaces. They have lengths of thin cord and an endless supply of beads that she simply cannot resist. It’s gotten so bad that we’ve got maybe twenty necklaces in a huge tangled mess in the toy box now, and every time she comes home with a new one, I return it in secret the next time I drop her off at school, to be disassembled and recycled. When I pick her up, and she runs to her cubby to fetch her artwork, her sweater, and whatever other treasures are waiting in there, her teacher will warn me with a good-natured apology if there’s a necklace coming, too.
I can tell the teachers are steering her away from the necklace station now, as she’s coming home with more artwork and pipe cleaner and paper cup flowers and other creative crafts. So, she’s taken the art of necklace making home. Now, I find my nail clippers threaded through a couple of pipe cleaners which are tied together with a rubber band, which String Bean proudly hands me and asks me to wear. She loves these pipe cleaner necklaces, and can string two or three of them together, complete with charms, also made out of pipe cleaners, dangling in the center. I find these on her, her sister, the dog, the rocking horse, every stuffed animal she owns, and hanging from every doorknob in the house.
Not that I’m complaining. I like all of her creative streaks, and even if I dismantle most of her projects when she isn’t looking, I coo and fuss over them whenever she presents them to me. I like any expression of artistic ability, and want to foster that side of her, as we all know the arts are getting cut left and right in schools. I also know that some of my favorite earrings were made by my very gifted jewelry-making friends and family, so I’ve got hopes that she’ll soon be making me not just nail-clipper necklaces to wear around the house, but beautiful jewelry sets to wear out and about.