Last night my children asked to have a Christmas party. On November 29th. I’m not quite ready to do that since I’m still cleaning up from Thanksgiving, but I did say we could do a craft.
Perusing Pinterest, Big E saw the perfect Christmas Craft – a cute orange and white paper ornament from HowAboutOrange.blogspot.com that we had all the supplies for at home.
The directions seemed simple enough with some parent help so we got to work. Here’s how ours ended up.
Obviously I am not a Pinterest maven. And my son and daughter noticed.
“It’s not supposed to look like that!”
“Why did you make it this way?”
“I wanted it perfect!”
Sorry kids. I don’t do perfect. Especially on my first try.
I make mistakes. I do my best. Part of me feels flattered that my tots assume that I could make a perfect ornament on my first try. I think that’s part of childhood wonder, seeing your parents as infallible.
But the larger part of me wants to teach them that life is a series of attempts and failures, halfway done projects and less than perfect results. It’s called progress. This larger part of me also wants to teach them to only say nice things to their mother, especially when she’s trying to do something nice for them like make a Pinterest ornament.
A while ago I decided that parenting is just doing your best. When I think back on my childhood I can’t remember many specific lessons on how to be a good person. But I remember my parents being good people. I remember how rarely they argued, how they worked together and how they loved all of their nine children. And now I can hear myself saying things they said and acting how they act. I figure that even if I can’t teach my kids by overt lessons, maybe they’ll pick it up through osmosis.
After the Christmas Paper Ornament project, the insults, timeouts and hangry banter we sat down to dinner. Roast Chicken and Potatoes. It’s become one of my favorite meals to make and eat. The first time I made it wasn’t perfect but now I can honestly say it’s the tastiest chicken I have ever had. That’s what happens with experience. Each time we try the results improve.
So the craft turned out less than perfect, but the chicken was pretty close. That’s no surprise to me. I don’t do perfect, but I can get better every time I try.
Now I just have to teach that to my kids.