Today, my little LuLu turned seven. Now that she is seven she has rejected all things pink and princessy, and asked for turquoise cupcakes with either dolphins or peace signs on top. Dophins? Heck no. But I thought that surely even I, the craft-impaired wonder, could manage a peace sign. Um, I was wrong. When Lucy saw the cupcakes, the conversation went something like this:
Me (trying to sound enthusiastic) : “Look Lucy! They have peace signs on top!”
Lucy (confused): “Oh.”
Me (again with the forced enthusiasm): “See, I made them out of frosting! Aren’t they cool?”
Lucy (more confused): “I thought they were going to be made out of candy.”
Me (enthusiasm fizzling): “I know, I tried, but it didn’t really work out”
Lucy (hiding her disappointment): “OK”
Me (enthusiasm dead): “Sorry, honey.”
There is no time of year when I feel more compelled to apologize to my kids for my lack of crafty skills than on their birthdays. I seem to be missing that gene that other moms have, you know, the one that compels them to scrapbook and make their own Halloween costumes. It’s just not there.
And I have struggled with feeling inadequate as a parent because of it. Really. It’s hard for me not to compare myself to other moms in this area. All it takes is a quick visit to Facebook for me to see I’m not measuring up. I don’t sew or knit. I don’t make bows, headbands, burp cloths, bibs, nursing covers, monogrammed baby wipe holders, jewelry, cards, t-shirts or gifts for my kids’ teachers. I don’t even like play-dough. Sheesh, my kids are lucky to have crayons!
But over the last five years, I have realized that I am actually, creative. My creativity just comes out in a different way. It is in the form of words. I tell stories. And more and more, I appreciate that this is how God has made me. And as I grow more and more into this creativity God has given me, it becomes easier to see the ways that my kids benefit from it in a really unique and wonderful way.
This summer, we were at a playground in Avila Beach. Our kids took the cement boat and dolphins on that playground and turned it into a story. Josh was the ship captain and the girls were his crew. They were on the stormy sea when they found two lost dolphins that needed to be rescued. Luckily, Lucy was an expert dolphin trainer. The best part was that they drew the other kids on that playground into their story. By the time we left, there were at least 10 other kids trying to rescue those dolphins.
So sure, I can’t Mod Podge to save my life. And Lucy didn’t get the cupcakes of her birthday dreams. But tonight she went to bed wanting to tell me a story. And there’s nothing lacking in that.