A Facebook friend just posted a photo of a gorgeous display table in the theme of Frozen. There are snowmen and princess cupcakes and colorful cake pops. Everything looks beautiful and perfect, with little coordinating handmade tags. You try not to panic. It is more than likely just a picture she copied off the Martha Stewart website. Or, at worst, a little girl’s birthday party from the week before. You envision it being a party for a girl whose mother just so happens to be a professional event planner. You feel a little sick when you discover the truth: Your friend and her nine kids baked, decorated and put everything together. It was no special occasion for them; just your ordinary snow day activity. It wasn’t big deal, she says, as they all have been up since five AM anyway. Mind you that this is the same woman that last year made a holiday wreath by hand. She used twigs, string, and an old shoe. The memory still haunts you. Your friend would love to chat more, but she has to go and take the apple pie and chocolate cake out of the oven. You sink in your chair and go looking for your kids. They have to be around here somewhere.
My husband often refers to social media as “a hive of scum and villainy” (a reference from the movie Star Wars) and I think I know why. A lot of time you hop on the computer to “relax” and just end up frustrating yourself more. It seems that everybody is perfect and everybody’s kids are perfect too. I have been guilty of posting pictures of my kids and assorted statuses of what we are doing. However, I must admit the embarrassing truth: I really have no great talent. I am not creative in the least. I am not a baker, or even a great cook for that matter.
Looking back on my own childhood, my mother wasn’t crafty either. And she was proud of that fact. As an elementary school teacher, she had no qualms in telling me that she would have her super creative friends make elaborate posters and such whenever she had an important school presentation. She would pay them back with lunch or a little gift. So, she basically used others to make it look as if she had talent. Mom was a genius. I hope to be just like her when I grow up.
As a kid, I never felt as if I missed out on anything. My mom read with us, laughed with us, and had fun with us whenever she could. She was also the hardest working woman that I knew. I would have to imagine that both of my kids feel the same too. That, most of the time, they are just happy to be with their dear old mom. Whenever I think of my own “uncrafty” shortcomings, I think of the scene in one of my daughter’s favorite movies, Elf. When Will Ferrell’s character realizes he cannot keep up with the other elves, his boss comforts him by letting him know that, “We all have different talents. That’s all.” For us moms, it is so important to know this when we feel we just can’t do it all. Or whenever we see a very intimidating picture on Facebook.We are doing more than enough. And our kids love us for it. Furthermore, it is never too late to learn. I am looking forward to the “Mommy and Me” craft class we will be taking together this spring. My daughter has definitely opened up my eyes to the fun that goes along with creating. It has only taken me forty years to realize that these things are meant to be fun, regardless of whether I do them perfectly or not. It is all about the moment. Maybe it is not too late for me after all.