I frequently find myself getting sucked into these random, totally optional activities that are directly contributing to the crazy factor in my daily life. I'm convinced that it isn't our kids, our work, or our church and community responsibilities that necessarily make us feel spread thin. Okay, maybe somedays it is the obvious culprits, like the two year old smearing handsoap all over her face, but just as often if feels like it's all the extra, optional activities that are making me nuts.
Like making fifty home-made Valentines yesterday.
They begged me to let them make homemade Valentines this year. And even though I am craft retarded. And even though they both have twenty-five students in their class. And even though they both have nine letters in their first name so it takes FOREVER for them to sign their name, I finally relented. It was important to them and so I decided to make it important to me.
They were thrilled. They believe these Valentines to be the finest work they have done to date. Don't tell, but I think these Valentines fell out of the Ugly Tree and hit every branch on the way down. And don't get me started on the mandatory Valentine box. Their decorating is fine, but my wrapping paper job leaves something to be desired since I've never had a delicate hand when it comes to stuff like this. Fortunately for me they're still young, and my daughter walked out the door cradling her box in her arms like a proud mama.
I wish I could end by saying this was one of those monstrous undertakings that brought us closer together. It wasn't. By the time the project was over my children kindly suggested that maybe I ought to go to bed early- since I was so grumpy and all.
Sometimes the crazy factor in life is worth it, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it takes four hours and fifty Valentines to figure it out. But if it isn't Valentines I'm sure it'll be something else. Long sigh. And that's what it means to love and be a family. We are inconvenienced, pushed to our limits, signed up for projects that we know we'll hate but we're willing to try simply because it's a big deal to the other person. I just hope by the time they are old and wise enough to feel embarrassed by my poor craftsmanship they will prefer store-bought Valentines and the pressure will be off!