I think, in the almost three years of my children’s lives, we have collectively done about five crafts. And I’m okay with that.
It’s not that I don’t see the value in doing crafts with my children. It’s not that I don’t love the finished product when curious and growing little fingers explore with some paint. It’s not that I don’t hope for them to appreciate or participate in the arts one day.
Rather, in all the running around, cooking, feeding, bottom wiping, music class attending, library trips, story times, vacuuming (sometimes), and “no not now sweetie, Mommy is busy” excuses, we just haven’t done too many crafts.
Plus, the thought of getting out all the things for the approximately two minutes that they will be interested and then cleaning up the mess that was made for approximately twenty minutes (during those two minutes of exploration) just…well, is somehow less than motivating.
I see so many pinable crafts on Pinterest and so many moms on Facebook with their kids and crafts, and I think…”Oh, how awesome. We need to do more crafts.” But then, we just don’t do it.
Maybe it’s also due to the fact that I am not what you would call a “crafty” person. At all. While I can totally appreciate a good craft, I cannot actually “do” a good craft. Yes, I am craft deficient even despite the artistic gene my art major of a mother surely passed down to me. Maybe someday it will decide to express itself.
Maybe when the twins are 21 I’ll take a painting class.
But I’ve decided that I’m going to let myself off the hook on this one. I used to feel guilty that we were not finger painting and glitter designing daily. I think I even blogged about the one or two crafts we actually managed to pull off, as if I had to prove (to myself?) that I could do it all.
But I’ve decided instead to appreciate the fact that I actually cannot do it all and to be thankful for the village that helps me fill in the gaps.
So this is why I appreciate this mantle.
You see, I did not do a single one of these awesome creations with my children. Instead, we proudly display the montage of art that comes home with them from preschool and Sunday school each week.
So, yes, this is my favorite ever fall mantle.
Because not only does it proudly display the beautiful crafts my little Picassos have created, but it also reminds me how thankful I am for their preschool and Sunday school teachers who do actually do these crafts. (And they do these crafts not only with my children, but will all the children…two and three-year-olds mind you.) They deserve a medal.
Simply put, this display is a reminder that I cannot do it all by myself. And in accepting that fact, my mantle has become as beautiful as it has ever been.
Thank you for the gifts you give each one of us. Help me to appreciate and nurture the gifts you have given me, to accept that I cannot do it all, and to always appreciate the gifts you have given to others. Help us to recognize and use our gifts to enrich the lives of one another each day. Amen.