Ode to 'What Do You Do With An Idea' book
The Magic of Children's Books - 'What Do You Do With An Idea'
by Paula M. Toledo
As a storyteller, a writer, and songwriter, I am often asked if I read a lot.
Truth be told, these days, I am not a voracious reader. I love books and they are stacked in piles on my bedside table, but many lay there lonely, awaiting their turn. Bedtime is my time to curl up but unfortunately, rather than pulling me in and engaging me, books seduce me to sleep.
Such is the life of a sleep deprived single-mom, where sleep is always at a premium.
Needless to say, I do believe that books tend to find me. This may sound very hippy, West Coast. (I can claim those rights, having lived in Vancouver for thirteen years.) But as new age as it seems, books tend to surface when I need them the most.
'What Do You Do With An Idea', written by Kobi Yamada and stunningly Illustrated by Mae Besom, found me at a time when I was searching for some Yoda-like wisdom. Words of encouragement for both myself and my children.
There are days as a parent, and especially as a single parent, I question myself as a teacher and role model for my kids.
Am I really guiding them? Will they turn out to be decent human beings filled with compassion, self-confidence, respect for themselves, others and the world they live in? Will they thrive and succeed on their own terms?
These are the laying-in-bed, eyes wide-open at 4 a.m., questions that fill my mind . These bedtime crashers take up the most space in my bed. Stealing my covers night after night.
'What Do You Do With An Idea' explores the lesson of sticking to your guns - never allowing anyone to tell you that your idea is bad or wrong. It is ultimately a book that coaches you (both child and parent) on how to believe in yourself, your uniqueness, your own ideas and right to create.
My sons are creatives as well. I make sure to constantly praise their ideas and inventions as my mother had with me. It is a beautiful feedback loop, as I feel their pride grow and love so apparent in their gift giving. "Mummmmm, I made this for you. This is my latest invention, an iphone Leeeeeegoo holder!"
Last year I converted our dining room into our studio. It houses all my tools of the trade but I made sure to give half the space to my sons so they too can work and be creative. Instead of calling it 'my office', I call it 'our studio'. We are all born creative but for some reason instead of growing into it, we grow out of it.
I am grateful to have come across this book, it is now a part of me, a part of my children, and a part of Ode To Wonder.
Dear 'What Do You Do With An Idea',
You have been my silent parenting partner.
You have also been my personal and creative mantra. I read you when I am feeling self-absorbed too self-conscious to feed my idea. Last night upon tucking my guys in, these tiny, yucky slivers of doubt stuck into me. Damn buggers annoying me on the eve of launching my blog. But as I gave my nine year old a kiss, I noticed you patiently sitting, facing outwards on the shelf. And so you found me. Again.
Ode To Wonder
by Paula Toledo