Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

The Magic is Gone

Well, the magic is gone.  Today, I was so thrilled to receive a Canada Post delivery at my door on Sunday.  But…it wasn’t my long over due Christmas cards from the big, photo printing company that I ordered in November.  Yet hope flames eternal, so I make the quick walk down the block to the mailbox, to check if they had delivered my parcel on the weekend.  Then I made the long, sad walk back up the block with empty hands.  This now confirms that my WordPress Dashboard does not grant wishes, as previously hypothesized in this blog.  No million dollars and book signing in my future.  Sigh.

Not that I have any time for writing any book even if a publisher was clamouring for it (however, I always have time to cash an inheritance cheque.)  Putting on Christmas with six children, is like planning a wedding.  Seriously.  We have to organize for two Christmas concerts, three teacher gifts, 6 dressy outfits, two “activity” Christmas parties, and 3 times 3 weeks of piano lessons to reschedule.  And then there are the stockings.  Those evil, evil Christmas stockings.

I wish I could go back in time.  No, not for the sleep, (which let me tell you, I would load up on,) but to give a message to 6-Years-Ago-Liz.  This is a lady who only has three children, and decides something very fateful that will rue her life for the next decade.  She decides to sew and embroider matching Christmas stockings for all the members of her family.  She thinks, “Oh, how fun!  I will buy bolts of lovely green fabric.  I will carefully sew these lovely stockings.  And, as a special personal touch, I will cross-stitch, by hand silly! each of my lovely family’s names on the cuff.  How cute!  How caring!  I don’t care if I have five children, I will never abandon my commitment to matchy-matchy crafting!  Because nothing says love and good parenting, like hours spent in mindless handiwork that is only displayed two weeks a year.”

Perhaps bubbling in my sub-conscious, I had a secret “Guilt Wish,” much like Freud’s Death Wish.  Maybe I unknowingly wanted more guilt in my life.   Because that’s what these dumb stockings have bought me — guilt.  Princess is almost five, and I am finally finishing putting her name in burgundy floss on her stocking.  Previously, Art Girl (then 5) wrote her name in bubble letters, coloured it in with a green pencil crayon, cut it out, and taped it to the top of the stocking.  Merry Christmas, Honey!   Your parents love you!  Really!  And now I have the Baby.  Yes, I have a “Baby’s First Christmas” stocking for this year, but that’s just delaying it, isn’t it?   The moment of truth is coming.  The moment when it’s December 20, and I don’t have her stocking done.  And instead of pride, I feel guilt.  ‘Cuz 6-Years-Ago-Liz, this was such a good idea.

You see, Years-Ago-Liz didn’t care what Future-Liz wanted to do with her time.  Or what her priorities would be, or her interests.  Maybe Future-Liz would rather be blogging, or baking, or knitting, or being less precious, than making matching Christmas Stockings.  Maybe she would find the idea of 8 identical stockings a tad too, I don’t know, crazy, hanging in her home.   Maybe Future-Liz would be resentful of Years-Ago-Liz for committing her free moments to a hobby that she wasn’t in to anymore.  All this pain for me, so that Years-Ago-Liz could feel cute one November in 2005.  Yay!

My consolation is that I’m not alone.  Us Mom’s all have projects like this in various states of incompleteness littering our storage spaces.  The Mom at piano lessons told me she needs to stitch on the cuff of her daughter’s stocking — it’s held on with a safety pin.  Other people have quilts, (ahem,) Easter dresses, murals to be painted on walls.  Maybe we are too ambitious, or maybe the stuff is a lot funner to look at finished than it is to do.  But I bet we could come up with a pretty big bonfire, if we persuaded the average suburban block to give up it’s unfinished kid crafts.  And baby, would it feel good to see it burn.

I’ve decided to make 2012 my “Quit Year.”  One of the things I will quit, is starting new projects before the old ones are either finished or permanently trashed.  So that means, since I’m too cheap to buy something I already have, I have one more stocking to make.  But let this be a warning to you young Moms out there.  Beware the never ending craft project.

Just say NO to matching.


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11 thoughts on “The Magic is Gone

  1. I just began a Christmas ornament project that was supposed to use up my fabric scraps, but of course, I didn’t have the right colors…so i toodled out and now I have even more scraps. Crud. Crud. Crud. Where are you having that bonfire?

    • I hear you Sister! We need a website called “Craft Guilt” where we post pictures of our unfinished stuff before we trash them. I think it’ll be the new Facebook. 🙂

  2. ROFL! I learned this lesson about six children ago! I am so very thankful I did. Glad to know I am not the only one to have a “quit” year! And good luck with the doorbell and the napping. That seems to go on into teenagerhood, when I swear they sleep as much as they did when they were still lumps in the crib!

  3. Allandar on said:

    Hey ladies! Keep the ‘crafty’ faith …I just finished a stained glass window I started for my brother 15 years ago!! It was for a house he’s long since moved out of!!…I gave it to someone else :0)

  4. Pingback: New Year’s Gratitude « Sturm und Mom

  5. “Because nothing says love and good parenting, like hours spent in mindless handiwork that is only displayed two weeks a year.” Priceless.

    I was disappointed when my sons rejected my offer of handmade afghans in their color of choice. It felt like a rejection of me. Now I realize that it was a gift. I have been given both time and freedom from resentment for every time I saw them mistreating the afghan or hiding it. Do you think when Martha Stewart gives one of her projects as a gift, the recipient rolls his/her eyes and says, “Great, thanks, another personalized sequined cat cozy. Whatever.”? Wait. I might say that if I got more than one personalized sequined cat cozy. Never mind.

    I concur. Less time on (thankless) mindless handiwork means more mental health and that is good. Now, let’s get that book deal!

    • Thanks Lynnette! It finally occurred to me that maybe I could make some craft projects for hmm, myself! LOL I guess it’s not “love me, love my craft.”

      As for a book deal, I’m pulling for your Memoirs. I really admire people like yourself, who have the courage to put themselves out there. I can barely manage to keep up my blog.

      Cheers, Liz

  6. Great post, Liz! Thanks for the laughs and the validation! I have one of those journals where you are supposed to write down your fabulous new recipes, along with amusing notes about your life, so you can pass it on to someone you love. It has about 5 entries…..started when my daughter first became interested in cooking. That was, um, about 15 years ago!!
    And let’s not talk about the photo albums and the shoe boxes of pictures…….
    Love your blog, thanks for reading mine!

  7. Pingback: F is for Happiness « Sturm und Mom

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