About a month ago, I sat down with my two older children to craft and create. We were attempting to make Easter egg snowflakes. I’d been experiencing a lull in readership and was looking for a great “pinnable” post. I thought this little Easter craft was just the ticket.
As their snowflakes were unfolding, my heart began to sink. These were not going to make the blog. No one would pin these things, regardless of how much time I spent on a fancy graphic. They were deformed, awkward, and NOT cute. My daughter eagerly reached for another sheet of craft paper, ready to make a second snowflake. I had to quickly bite my tongue. As I was about to tell her to stop making them, I saw the gleam in her eyes. She was SO proud of the misshapen egg she had made…crazy globby cut-outs and all. She had created something, and to her it was a piece of art.
I had set the bar so far out of reach. My expectations were crazy high and far from anything resembling realistic. I sat down to do a simple craft with my kids and expected perfection. In my quest for them to create exquisite masterpieces for me to blog about, I missed the moment. I lost the opportunity. I failed to see the bigger picture and the greater good.
I have a feeling I’m not alone here. Have you ever built up something in your mind only to be disappointed at the sheer reality of it all? Holidays, birthdays, special outings….We eagerly get our hopes up and believe that our child’s first trip to the zoo will be magical and enchanting….a day they will never forget! Then, we arrive only to have them throw a tantrum, beg for an elephant ear, and care more about the pigeons than the actual zoo animals. Kids can be cranky on Christmas morning. Special family dinners can turn into 3 ring circuses. Babies scream while being dedicated and kids throw up at the movies. Life happens.
Our bubbles burst and our expectations fall flat. Almost nothing goes exactly as planned and we often don’t find the “magic” we were hoping for. The thing is, the real, dirty, everyday, mundane life we actually encounter is pretty darn magical…..we just need to alter our expectations in order to see it.
If I hadn’t been so concerned about creating the next big “pin” , I would have been able to enjoy the way my kids were using their creativity and imagination. I would have smiled as my son figured out how to manipulate the paper to create new shapes. There would have been the carefree and easy chatter that comes from preoccupied children. We were having a moment…I just missed it waiting for a better one.
Today I want to encourage you to stop waiting for the perfect moments, the whimsical and enchanting play-dates, and the “pinteresty” activities. Relish and enjoy the everyday wonder going on around you. Smile in the midst of the mess. Become comfortable with mistakes and less than perfect results. Don’t let moments to simply “do life” with your kids slip by as you allow your disappointments and unmet expectations take control. Stop waiting for the perfect day, and simply enjoy the day you have, imperfections and all.