I’m forever inspired by parents who offer their children insights into their career – creative or not. As a child of two school teachers, I remember summer days visiting classrooms, cleaning and sorting and – let’s be honest – playing Hangman on the chalkboard while my mother prepped her curriculum for the coming year. And it was such a blessing to gain that perspective, to see my mother in her element. To witness her sitting at her desk, copying lesson plans, laminating flashcards. To see her “in her element.”
I remember an old episode of The Wonder Years (best show ever aside from The Cosby Show, yes?) where a young Kevin Arnold had no idea what his father did for a living. There was an office. And a suit and tie. And a briefcase. But what his father actually worked on between the hours of 9 to 5 was completely lost on Kevin. And it’s so true, right? Kids are rulers of their own domain, wedged somewhere between imagination and reality, paying little attention to the lives around them. Unless, of course, we get creative, introducing them to our careers in enchanting, inspired ways.
Designer Melanie Burk of Fifth & Hazel makes a habit of this with her Instagram series, Unexpected Type. During their morning art project, she and her daughter Maggie spell out words with everyday objects – a compilation of typographic photographs, each one more inspired than the last.
There’s orzo pasta messages and rice affirmations and cursive cheese creations, all documenting a larger story – the unveiling of Melanie’s elusive career as a designer and the uniting of passions from mother to child.
To be fair, our careers could very possibly bore our children to tears. Bee is boisterous and busy and active, and I hardly expect her to someday enjoy curling up into a corner and journaling the world around her. But then again, kids surprise us everyday.
And sometimes, it’s our job to let them.
Image Credits: Melanie Burk via Fifth & Hazel Instagram