When my husband asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day I automatically replied, "French toast". But as the day drew near I found myself cutting simple paper crowns from leftover red construction paper. More suspiciously, as Sunday lolled on from French toast, to the little one's nap, to after-nap, I found myself making three red crowns and one small star wand. What I really wanted was a family photo shoot complete with handmade props. Fortunately, my husband agreed to play along. So we drove up into the Oakland hills and found a little picnic patch to call our own.
I donned us in our red paper crowns and we took to the picnic area and tall grasses. The little one was less convinced about his crown than he was the arsenal of small rocks and various narrow pathways. My dear husband wore his crown like any supportive father on a Mother's Day adventure--with some reservation but as much enthusiasm as he could muster. Our little one examined his crown quickly then tossed it aside and headed for the ample rocks and piles of soft dirt. So, I resorted to the number one lesson I've learned in my 19-months of parenting--stay flexible!
With that, we managed to frolic around the picnic tables, parking lot, and tall grasses until the sun had nearly set and the little one was weary with adventure. It seems these lessons in parenthood and artmaking are colliding the further I move down this path wholeheartedly. The more I let go of expectations, the more I admit to my needs in the moment, the more I lay out the best damn plan I can manage and then respond to the environment and adapt as I go along. Then, the easier it gets. Which, of course, is not to say it's easy. It's just to say it's easier. Well, easier than resisting.
And, of course, sometimes the very best crowns are the crumpled crowns. The ones we dent, bend, wrinkle, and trample through our adventuring. My favorite photo is the one of Maxwell looking at his red paper wand, the dent in his crown glowing brightly from the afternoon sun, with my husband smiling approvingly from behind. Isn't it always the imperfection, the unexpected, the crumpled crown that proves to be our very favorite? Full of mishaps and opportunities to respond to a little magic along the way? Sigh. I'm just grateful they wore their handmade crowns.
Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas.