Two months before summer began, I had visions of daily beach trips and ice cream sundaes every day. The first day of summer, I scaled it down to one beach trip every week. I, also, decided I'd wait two weeks to start that tradition because there was far too much to do. Today, the last day of summer, with the exception of our vacation beach trip, we'd made it to the beach exactly once. The day we decided to go just happened to be the coldest day of summer. Most of the summer was spent watching too much TV, eating ice cream, and running errands.
Today was my last chance to make it seem like we'd had a productive summer. I decided it was finally time to break out the Pom Pom making kit. I had bought it weeks before and thought we'd make numerous pom pom puppies before August 14. Today, we decided to tackle the project. The recommended age group for this project was eight years old, but I thought that those rules didn't apply to us. How hard could wrapping yarn around plastic be? Actually, if you tend not to read the entire set of instructions on any given craft, the answer is "very."
We had to restart the project three times because I failed to read the guide carefully. Every time I thought I understood it, I realized I had skipped a crucial step, like the part where I was supposed to measure the yarn before we even started. We both grew increasingly frustrated as the hour wore on.
Darla, in the "great giver up" tradition of my family, would complain every other breath and eventually just ask me to do it for her. I knew I was supposed to guide her through the process, but I wanted to get the project over with as much as she did. I did the bulk of the labor. It was just easier that way. I wrapped the yarn, tied the yarn, and cut the yarn. There was a reason that only people eight and older were supposed to do the project. For both Darla and I, no crafting lessons were learned and no fun was had.
I did understand, however, a few crucial facts. First, I have about as much patience as a six year old. I'm assuming that patience is an important factor when working on a craft. The second thing I learned is that I despise crafting. I know that this is sacrilege for mothers. Making small art projects that involve glue guns is supposed to be as good as heroin for me. They aren't. Crafts involving beads, glue, yarn, glitter, construction paper, and anything else you buy at Michaels feel more like stubbing my toe over and over again.
I've always felt this way. I've never been artistically inclined and always gave minimal effort in all art classes I've ever taken. As a mom, it's going to have to be ok that I don't want to craft. My kids can come to me whenever they wants to bitch about strangers and eat brownies, two things at which I excel. She can go to her dad and school for all craft related activities.
In the last few hours of summer, we finished the head of the pom pom dog. We forewent the body of the dog and decided we would do it another day. (Darla asked me to promise that another day wouldn't be years from now. It was a promise I wasn't able to make. With any luck, that kit will be buried deep in a landfill in the next few months). As I looked from the picture of the example and the actual dog we made, I noticed a very stark contrast between the two. I was happy, however, that we had actually finished it and it sort of looked like the dog.
Satisfied that we'd made it to the end of a craft without any tears, I told Darla to put on her swimsuit. She'd go swimming with her good friend to finish the day. Hopefully laughing and splashing in the pool will be the memory she takes with her as she remembers her last day of summer before starting first grade.