Last year Lily wanted to be Rapunzel for Hallowe’en. Fortunately there were plenty of Tangled costumes available, but none of them came with the trademark long blonde hair. No problem – a little yellow yarn and I’ve solved that problem. Except for one minor little detail: I am the least crafty person you will ever meet. But, with the best of intentions I pulled out my glue gun, bought yellow wool, a yellow headband and set to work.
It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning on October 30th that panic started to set in as I looked down at a mess of yellow and unsightly gobs of stringy glue along the top of the headband. I tried to fix it. I kept putting it on to see how the yarn was falling and how much more I would be able to add.
It was awful. Lily was going to hate it. I was ruining her costume.
She woke up full of excitement until I sat down beside her and explained that I’d really tried but I wasn’t sure she was going to like her wig. When I pulled it out from behind my back, there was silence. The pit in my stomach grew as I chastised myself for lacking even a shred of maternal Martha Stewartness.
But, then Lily’s little face lit up and she grabbed it out of my hands to put on. She flung her new hair over her shoulder and twirled around the room. Oh, it looked awful but she was happy.
I had forgotten that kids don’t have the same expectations of perfection that we do. And, frankly, I think Lily, in her youthful wisdom, knew it was going to be a tough road for me with my inability to pull off anything crafty.
I’m not a fan of perfect and don’t often strive for it, but, sometimes I still get caught in its evil little trap. Lily’s headband has become my reminder to throw out perfectionism and just do what I can.
It helps that a year later it’s still one of her favourite things in the dress-up bin.