This week, Olivia and I spent some one-on-one time crafting: just a couple of girls, a couple of dollar-bin picture frames, a bag of sequins, some tacky glue, and a cylinder of rainbow glitter.
When our project was at 90% completion, there was a knock at the front door. By the time I got back to the kitchen, the entire 4-inch-high cylinder of glitter had been spilled. Here's what my kitchen floor looked like.
This photo doesn't do the mess justice. If you have any experience with glitter, you know that even just a tiny bit can infiltrate your home so that days later you are still finding it on your clothes, furniture, and stuck in the tiny hairs above your lip that you don't want to call a moustache but your daughters will tell you is one.
And this was a LOT of glitter, all over the crafting table cloth, chairs and floor. My purple Shark vacuum shot much of it into the air until I figured out the right attachment to use. This is why many mommies do not craft, but leave it to preschool teachers.
I have also experienced death by sequins, when, on Father's Day weekend, a ballerina skirt exploded in the wash and bedazzled the washer and dryer and lint trap with pink iridescent sequins, which then got all over our clothes. Happy Father's Day, husband. You sparkle.
Our family also lives and dies by sewing pins. Jeff has stepped on several, and found needles sticking out of the arm of our couch (now it's leather, so I know longer use the couch as a pin cushion, so that particular danger is over). Our back yard patio is like a drunk Jackson Pollock, with water color splatters absorbed into the concrete. And I have also died many deaths (emotionally speaking) getting ground-in Play-doh out of upholstery and cracks in our kitchen table.
The fact is, whatever we love has a downside. You can tell what someone's passion is by what pain they are willing to suffer for it (or, in my husband's case with the pins, what pain they are willing to let their families suffer for it). I met a woman at a party a few weeks ago who had arrived on her daughter's razor scooter, because though she had sustained a stress fracture in her heel the day before, she didn't want to drive her car for just a mile. That woman loves to exercise. Stress fracture? ACL tear? Well, that just comes with the territory.
Yesterday, I went to visit a neighbor who was making her four year old son a two-tiered pirate-themed birthday cake. Her entire person was literally coated with powdered sugar, and the fondant wouldn't roll without sticking to the silicon rolling mat. Death by fondant! Her sanity as well as her marriage was in jeopardy for a couple of hours (her husband said today at the party, "Can you taste the slight hint of bitterness in this cake?") But come next child's birthday, they will both go gung-ho again, and turn the house upside down doing a Minnie Mouse themed-party for their daughter. Why? Because they love it! We shall be very good friends with these neighbors.
I often lament all the scrappy messes I am picking up in this house, but they are mostly my fault. I have created a culture of creativity here, and small pieces of paper, thread, glue and other hard-to-clean substances are the price I'm willing to pay, if I think about it.
I'm also often irritated that there are vases of dead flowers throughout my house, but, again, it's my own fault. I just love flowers, and I'm too busy sweeping up glitter to dump them out before their dead. They are not a testament to my lazy housekeeping so much as my commitment to creativity.
Just before I left for Texas, I was emptying a vase of expired blooms, and I found a Jedi master drowned in the bottom. Apparently, the girls had been launching their Star Wars toys down the stairs, and Yoda fell through our open staircase and into a vase full of geraniums on the bookshelf underneath.
I'm always telling the girls not to do this with their action figures, because they are bound to get lost in the crevices under our stairs. When I told Livie I had found her Yoda, she was unrepentant. She said something like, "Well, sometimes that happens when you're having fun." What's one dead Jedi master in the course of a whole hour of gleefully tossing toys down the stairs?
I see your point, small daughter. Now, watch out as you walk through the kitchen. Mommy's been sewing, and she may have dropped some pins.