I've been staying out of craft stores for a few months.
Part of that reason is money. I get a little creative (in a bad way) with my budget when I spend too much time at Hobby Lobby or Michaels or Jo-Anns.
The other reason is my kids. My boys. All five of them.
They each have had their not-so-great moments while I've been trying to purchase the exact shade of green corduroy or pack of scrapbooking paper or pretty doo-dad to put on my wall.
Inevitably, when I go with an entourage, something gets broken. So, I should have known.
I should have known.
But a couple weeks ago, I NEEDED to go to Hobby Lobby. My six year old has developed an obsession. With notecards.
He went through a really cute (and expensive) set of notecards from Target in two days. The kid loves to write, but...did he have to use THOSE?
What about lined paper, computer paper?
"No. I like the little cards. They have pockets you put them in."
"You mean envelopes?"
So, my mission that day was to obtain a 50-pack of blank notecards that my 6-yr-old can personalize himself. And they were on sale. So instead of almost a dollar a card, I could get fifty for less than $4.00.
But I also needed to get a birthday present for my niece. Which was the excuse I needed to wander around the store looking at all the pretty eye-candy.
.....With my youngest. 4-yr-old Little Buddy.
I should have known.
Now for the eye candy.
I wander the aisles, pretending I own all the pretty stuff. The store has jumped the gun on the garden things, so I hang out in that aisle for five minutes, pretending its spring.
Then we enter the aisle full of RED.
Red framed mirrors, red candle sticks and lots of little red British phone booths made into bookshelves and key caddies. They were sooooo cute!
My 4-yr-old thought they were cute too. He went down the aisle opening the door of each one. I noticed at the end of the aisle several inspirational signs. Nice. They were a little close to the last red phone booth and the edge of the shelf.
If someone's not careful, those signs would get knocked over.
The thought quickly exited stage left as a new Diva of an Idea popped into my head.
What if I spray painted one of those phone booths BLUE! And put 'TARDIS' on the top!?!
I needed blue spray paint and a plan to rearrange the budget, so I could blow some cash on a whim.
"Come on, Sweetie," I called over my shoulder as I steered myself towards the spray paint aisle.
Why didn't I see it coming. Why didn't I move those signs?
I knew what I was going to find before I turned around.
An open phone booth door and on the floor, the word 'APPY'.
My little buddy retrieved the 'H'.
"Mom, it broke. Can you fix it?"
I was silent a moment. I wanted to walk away from the mess, from the responsibility. I could have. It would have probably been easy, For a moment I stood between two choices.
Then I bent down and picked up the 'APPY'.
"Yeah, buddy. We'll fix it."
We walked to the glue aisle instead of the spray paint aisle and found adhesive that claimed to keep
anything stuck together.
And then it hit me. This is what I am in my family.
I am the glue.
I am a writer and a swordsman and singer and an artist and the PTA RIF coordinator.
But I am a mom.
My life is full of broken, lifeless, difficult things that my children expect me to fix.
To make better. To make sense of.
To hold everything together.
Homework: Add 6 ones and 1 tens = 16
or 6x + 75 = 123 ... Solve for x
Dinner: Combine flour, butter, herbs and broth. Add sausage, potatoes and onions = Soup
Ouches: Frozen bag of peas + neosporin + bandage
Relationships: Sorry + Eye Contact + Shaking Hands
Togetherness: Cuddles + Eye Contact + "Tell me about your day." + "I love you."
All this truth swirled around my head as I stood in line at the cashier, buying notecards, a 'HAPPY' sign and the Amazing Space Glue used by NASA to fix Everything.
I have to admit, since then, I've been working on my A-Game.
Writing is important to me. Cannot even tell you how much.
But my kids are so very important... Irreplaceable.
And I can't be a writer or a mom very well when I'm multi-tasking.
I stink at both.
So, now when I'm doing family stuff, I'm all in.
Eye-contact. Listening. Heart open.
When story ideas and plot lines try to edge in, they are noted and then banished until Writing Time.
And when the kids are off to school and its time to write, I know I can't procrastinate on Pinterest. The kids will be home in a few hours and I won't get back to the computer until after bedtime.
And its been better.
Better Writing Time. Better Family Time.
Not saying all is perfect.
Perfect is so far away...its not even on the horizon.
But Better is Here. And I love it.
Thanks Little Buddy for helping me fix my 'HAPPY'.
Oh, and to my niece:
Sorry. You're getting a gift card. :)