Sunday, August 19, 2012

letting go

I just didn't think it would be this hard.

I thought I'd have years to prepare for these moments...graduations, going to college, moving away, getting married.

I never realized these sorts of moments would come so quickly.

I was watching Wardie at the playground recently and he was trying to talk and play with some bigger kids. The kids were totally ignoring him. They weren't being mean, they just had their own agendas, their own plans. And he wasn't in them.

And my mama heart hurt for him.

I mean, come ON!? Why weren't those kids noticing him? He was just trying to play!

And, why didn't they think he was the cutest child on the planet? And, didn't their parents teach them manners and how to be kind to younger and smaller kids!?

I mean, look at this face...

How could someone not want to hang out with that kid!?

But, I resisted the temptation to jump in and reassure him. And, after trying again and getting the same response from the bigger kids, he shrugged. He moved on. He survived. On his own. He called out to me to watch him and I called back to him, approving of his games and praising his new feats.

I have spent the past 3 1/2 years enjoying every moment I've had with him. Twirling to our favorite music. Cooking dinner. Snuggling in bed in the mornings. Reading. Tracing letters on his back with my fingers. Swimming. Picking berries. Weeding. Planting. Sowing.

And, now, reaping what we have sown.

Preschool starts tomorrow.

It's a good thing. I know he will learn there. I know the teachers and their extended expertise in Montessori style. I know that the best thing for him is being able to engage daily and really focus on his work. I know this will bring out the best in him.

But, my mama heart aches just a bit to know that he'll be gone in the mornings. Or, more so, that he won't be with me. Just a little papercut in my heart that I know will grow bigger over time, only to be made whole again someday, though never in the same way that it is now.

I know that this is just the first step in the lifelong process of letting go.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Friday Night Finishers

So, I read this book.

And I loved it.  

Not only am I particularly interested in crafty sorts of things, but the story of friends from so many walks of life all in different situations coming together was just really refreshing to read about.

And, of course, I began to think about my own girlfriends.

They're awesome.  And busy.  And I'm busy.  So, I don't see them near as often as I want to as finding the perfect date and time sometimes requires three trillion emails or texts just to be cancelled due to a.sick child, b.exhaustion, c.much needed family time or d.all of the above.

And then I read this book. And the solution occurred to me--why don't I stop complaining about how I miss my girlfriends and life is just too crazy and DO something about it!?  

So, I did.  I invited ladies that I knew well and just wanted to see a bunch more and those that I don't know hardly at all, but secretly stalk on facebook would like to for a twice-a-month gathering in our home.  The rules are simple: 1. bring any project you might be working on with the goal of finishing what we start, and 2. keep the conversation positive overall.

Thus, Friday Night Finishers was born.  (Thanks to Kathryn for the best name suggestion ever!)  The first night included homemade headbands, carving tile forms (holy cow, that one was cool!), knitting and sorting through hundreds of buttons.  I may or may not have spent the night talking and drinking sangria and enjoying 3 hours of kid-free time, but I promised to do more the next time.  The second meeting was equally awesome--we had people writing poetry, working on a prayer book, finishing thank-yous, creating flower-pens for a gift, making a super-cute wipes case and all the while talking about babies and cooking and husbands and life.  Awesome.

And, I actually did something more than drink sangria. (Although, I did that, too...)  I started and finished a project from my hoard treasure trove of projects: a chevron painted mirror for baby girl's room.  

I took an old mirror that my mother-in-law spotted at a thrift shop for $3.50 with a cute, curvy frame, and sanded off the old tan paint until it was bare wood.  Then, I gave it a coat of white, realized I needed to use a finer-grade sandpaper, and sanded it again a bit.  It came out sort of distressed-looking, which I loved, so I opted not to add another coat of white and to just go with it.

Next, after trying to make a chevron pattern without a template and realizing that every once in a blue moon, my husband is actually right, I used my super-awesome math skills and made myself a cardboard template to draw the stripes.  

Tip: make the stripe width the exact same width as your tape--you will save yourself HOURS of headache using only one strip of tape for each line!

After tracing the template repeated all the way down the mirror, pick your favorite painter's tape and tape that thing with as much anal-retentiveness accuracy as possible.

Just throw all of your tape scraps right in the center of the mirror since you aren't going to blog about this and don't care about the pictures you'll post as you go....sigh...

Anyway, once you've pressed your tape a billion times, you SHOULD take some white paint and put a layer down first to seal the tape and not get any leaks.  Because you know that's the right thing to do.  But, what you're actually going to do is paint the blue and then take the tiniest little paintbrush and white paint and have to go back and fix all of the mistakes...Then, take a sanding block and rough that thing up until you're pretty amazed at how awesome you are and determined that baby girl is not only going to LOVE this mirror, she is going to think you're the most awesome mom ever with great decorating style and she will love it so much that she'll want to take it with her to college.

The finished product:

I just love it, and it even made it straight onto the wall.  This project is 100% finished--what a great feeling!  

I'm loving this new group of awesome women who inspire me to finish projects in life and keep things refreshing!

Any projects you're determined to finish coming up?