A play date is no big deal-right? A friend or two come over, the kids play, the kids go home. Piece of cake…What is wrong with me?!?
I’m thinking it all begins with my lack of play dates. By not having them very often (especially when my oldest is in school) I feel my house needs to be fun. I am consistently a bit stressed when my girls have friends over. I don’t want the visiting kids to go home and say, “It was so boring.” So I plan, nothing huge, just a craft, or a snack to make, or both.
Just before Christmas we had two girls over, about the same age at Lei (age 6) and Evie (age 5). My activity for the day was chocolate candy suckers–different colors of a chocolate like substance with candy molds. Pretty thrilling I thought. All 4 girls were excited, as was my 2 year old Mase. Do I even need to tell you what happened? Can’t you just imagine? Chocolate everywhere, on faces, fingers, in mouths, on the table, amazingly on the wall. When it was all over my 2 year old’s face looked like one gigantic chocolate sucker ! It was truly a spectacular activity! And, I am ashamed to say, I didn’t really enjoy it. Maybe that wasn’t strong enough, I was mortified! My expectations for that activity had been so…clean.
An hour later, the suckers had set and most of the mess was erased. It was then I took an internal vow to stay away from such disastrous activities.
The mom of the girls came to pick them up and the two girls proudly handed their mom the chocolate like creations. As they were all headed out the mother asked me, “how was it?”
I answered with a smile and seemingly good humor, “Oh, it was out of control, really a disaster.” Surely, she wouldn’t know I was–completely serious!
She just smiled and wisely said, “I always have to remind myself I’m making memories.” This, coming from a women who is enduring a number of personal tragedies right now, of which I won’t go into.
So I’m guessing this is probably a common saying, something everyone has heard a million times, but I personally don’t think I had ever really thought of all my crazy kid endeavors as “making memories”. It really struck me that my attitude was/is not making the kind of memories I want my kids to remember.
Not only that, I definitely don’t want them to become me, at least not that part of me.
I used to be slightly more easy-going…or I thought I was. So I am trying to reclaim my former self. Time to take a breath and breeze through life’s little messes.
As if to confirm my already renewed child rearing ways, an old family friend commented on my facebook family photo this week saying, “beautiful family Janae! I envy you, ours are all grown up and scattered. Enjoy every second of it!” And I will… for today.