The Premise...

  • ***Make no craft purchases December 1, 2010 to November 30 2011
  • ***Use and create from existing supplies only
  • ***Small purchases to continue crafting (such as sewing needles) are acceptable
  • ***Trading items with others is legitimate since there's no net gain

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MINE is the BIGGEST One.

Well, folks....we've been gardening up a storm. Crafty news in a minute, but I was certainly touched by a situation this week. I hope you gain something from this bloggy blog post....

The Reformed Supermom has 3 kids. One is off being "all grown up" at college, and there's two wee littles at home. Madi is 5 1/2 as of this writing, and Leif is 3 1/2, four in August. If anyone ever tells you to have two kids close together so they will have a NOT listen to them!! They do NOT have a playmate...they have someone to fight with. Someone to argue with. Someone to tease and scream and virutally annoy with. Perhaps in between all of this, there are some stolen moments where they get along. Where they hug, and share, and love, and are generally kind to each other.

Most of all, they fight. I feel like I'm CONSTANTLY trying to nurture and correct and steer them toward treating each other by The Golden Rule. It's exhausting. And lately, it seems like there's no payoff. The status quo is more bickering, more fighting, more whining. Calgon, TAKE ME AWAY!!!!

With the nice weather going on in this part of the woods, we've gotten up early most days, eaten breakfast in a hurry, brushed our teeth, and headed outside before many folks have picked up their morning paper. We've worked in the garden, watering plants and peeking at the blank dirt, hoping to see a sprout. Yes, even the day AFTER we put the seeds in the earth...the kids were surprised, and then conceded that maybe TOMORROW was the day. At some point, the kids would use spray bottles to "water the plants" and I would sit down to knit. This week, it was on Madi's green and purple sweater.

A little while into the watering routine, Madi would usually ask if they could have a pop-pop, which is one of those ice-popsicles in the clear plastic. Usually, the answer is yes. It's become routine, no matter if it's half past eight or not.

One day, at pop-pop time, Madi asked if she could get her and Leif one from the freezer. Sure, I say. And she comes back with seems to be a standard size pop-pop. One, the JUMBO variety. Both are grape. Madi says:

"Can you open these for us?" she asks. "MINE IS THE BIGGEST ONE."

Madi chooses the biggest one. It was at this point I had a moment of hesitation, do I correct her? Do I change what is happening, to either replace her BIGGEST ONE with a smaller one, or dig and pray and hope that there is another one of equal size so it would be "fair" and two kids would have THE BIGGEST ONE? Do I tell her that she should ALWAYS give "the best" (or what ever is perceived to be the best) to someone else? Why did I even care?

So, I do nothing. I cut the tops off and bring them back, and make a point to tell Madi "and HEeeeeeere's YOURS!" Leif was off digging worms or something, so the pop-pop appeared like magic on his radar, and I sat back down to knit.


A pause here for some philosophical stuff....

Why *IS* it we (meaning me, but maybe you too...) feel the need to sacrifice what WE want? I mean, getting what WE want is not mutually exclusive to what others want, is it? Not ALL the time at least. Why is it that we feel the need to suffer so that we feel we are truly giving to others? If we give to others, does that mean we have to do without? What if we make sure OUR needs are met first, and then help others? Kinda like on airline emergency your oxygen mask before helping others.

Now, apply it to ANYTHING. How many quilts have I made this past year? 7 or 8? How many have I made for my immediate family? Well, counting Madi's that I just did last week, ONE!!! And that one has been done for the most part, and just needed some quilting and binding...and yet...she gets to be LAST. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say when I put "others" first (meaning not immediate family) I'm putting myself and my family LAST. Why? Why didn't I say "I get the BIGGEST one."?



So, As I knit, the kids come sit on the porch with me, waiting for hummingbirds to dive-bomb the feeder. They're sitting really still, enjoying the pop ice. Leif is still oblivious to the size discrepancy.

"Hey Med-eeeeeee..." he says. "Wanna have a bite of my pop-pop???" and he stretches out his treat with a chunk of purple ice pinched above his fingers. He, with the much-smaller pop-pop wants to SHARE with Madi. He, with the same FLAVOR of pop-pop wants to share with Madi. It just about brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? Madi says, "Oh, thanks LEIF!" and takes a bite. Just as naturally, a little while later Madi does the same thing for him, and offers a bite from hers. She pinches a really BIG chunk up to the top, a really generous offer of sharing, and again I'm amazed. Leif, tells her EXACTLY what he wants, and she breaks it smaller so he's happy.

All without my intervention. All without talk about what is fair, or for me advocating for one over the other.

What's the moral of the story? I dunno...I'll figure it out. I *do* know that it's perfectly ok to call dibs on THE BIGGEST ONE now and again, if that's what you really want.


In crafty news.....

The "Mothed" sweater is done in the body, and I even tried it on. OOOOOPS...guess what? The gauge is off. And I need to lose about 15 pounds before I can wear it. Thank goodness I'm running.

Madi's green and purple sweater is about 1/2way through the bodice. About ready to do the teeny increase at the ribcage, then it's short sleeves so that sucker is almost done!

I've been cutting on some black and white squares to make a lap-size quilt. THAT's about to come together this week. It's going to be SA-WEEEET!

Made some soap this week and it was fun. I've gotta reorganize the soap closet..I'm so bad about putting things away!

Made a purchase. I know, I'm totally sneaking this in at the end. But...I did. Some may say it's not a slip because it was a sale (and a darn good one, at that!) but I was going for no purchases. Bummer. Again with the bummer. I'm happy with everything I got, and I will use it. Madi is going to school in mere weeks, and I will have MUCH more time to sew since I won't have to referee. Maybe even Leify will get into the act!

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