Ninety hoods

I limit the number of blogs that I read- only a few capture my attention on a continual basis. So when my 25 year old (almost) son decided to start a blog on the ninety neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, it was a command performance. ninetyhoods.wordpress.com  But that is not the story here.

When Max was 5 and entering first grade he had to make a book about colors. As a creative director who supervises and directs over 15 graphic designers, I looked at his project and immediately started giving him suggestions.... we could bind it this way, you could cut out different kinds of blues or reds, have you considered using different colors of type.... you get the drift. And Max immediately stopped me by saying, "Mom all I have to do is color the colors into the book. "

Wow. I had not realized that I was art directing my own son, critiquing, offering suggestions, essentially improving on his homework when what we really needed was a mom, not an art director. That was also the very last time I ever did my kids' homework. The scores of art projects, science fair projects,  speeches, posters, reports, were all my kids work- not mine or my husband's. And if Max turned in a color book that looked like it was done by a kindergarten student- well that was appropriate- that is what he was.

So until yesterday I have curtailed my direction. Until yesterday. I asked Max, a guy with an incredible photographic eye, why he was not doing this or considering adding that. And we had a fantastic grown up conversation  on the intent of a blog- a half hour dialogue where I questioned his approach, listened to his reasoning, countered with suggestions, and agreed occasionally with his wisdom. And while I had a certain point of view I wanted to get across, he had an equally strong viewpoint. And I have to wonder if that confidence, that fabulous sense of design, amazing photographic talents, and writing grew out of Max having to rely on himself to make decisions and to get things done instead of using his parents as a crutch.

Check out the blog. I know it is on my must-read selection.