I look at my kids and think about how creative they are, but all in different ways. People always asked me how I raised "such creative children." I would shrug and say they were always creative. This morning, as I did my semi-annual cleaning of the fridge inside and out, it struck me: all kids are creative until we tell them they can't be.
I have had magnetic poetry on the fridge for years. I have had a notebook in the glove compartment where the family has written "car haiku" - little haikus about life, the universe and everything as we were in the car. There is a whole cycle of haiku about Krispy Kreme's short lived entry into the Boston market before the Dunkin' Donut mafia took them down, about waiting for brothers' to finish ball games, traveling to DC, etc.
As I cleaned, I thought about the running dialogue on the white board before I erased it. That's when it his me, my kids were always creative, I just never told them they had to sacrifice that creativity to grow up. It's part of who we are, whether it was making up songs to sing to the cat to poetry on the fridge to messages on the white board instead of a shopping list.
The moral of the story: stay creative. Maybe that blue elephant should be gray and look like an elephant. Who cares? What you should care about is this: seeing the world through a different eyes. As Tony DiTerlizzi says, "Never abandon imagination!"