I love to scrapbook. It's an easy way for me to let loose with my creative side. Every so often I get to go to a crop (a bunch of people who get together to scrapbook, share ideas and spend money on more scrapbook equipment). I love getting out of the house for a few quiet hours where I can just work. No kids asking to play or for food, no phone to interrupt, no husband asking where his socks are.
So when Girl asked to come with me today to a crop, I sighed. There was no way that I would get done half of what I needed to get done for the albums I was working on for Christmas. In my mind I pictured the hours of questions and complaints of being bored. I pictured all those blank pages that represented hours I'd have to make up at home. I pictured my nice quiet Sunday crop disappearing because there was no way I could tell her no.
I helped her pack a bag of books, coloring books, her DVD player and a few movies. I picked out a small album and some circus pictures she could use to make her own album. I packed up my own things and sighed.
We left later than I had wanted because she couldn't find the headphones to the DVD player and she couldn't watch it without them.
We finally got there an hour and a half late. I set up my things and laid out her scrapbook.
And her eyes lit up.
A small pink album. A packet of pictures. A few stickers. Strips of paper. Free use of all the things I've told her to never touch.
I was right. I didn't get that much done on my albums. I spent most of the day helping her set up the DVD player, cutting down pictures to fit her album, helping her spell words or cutting up papers for her. I oohed and ahhed over her work. We talked about which boy in her class was always picking on the girls and who her best friend was this year. She ate and reveled in being allowed to have 3 mini powder donuts and a sprite at the same time. She colored a picture for me.
At the end of the day, I packed up our things while she went to thank our hosts. One of them mentioned how well behaved she was, that she was welcome back anytime and then let her pick out three sticker sheets.
It was the best crop I ever went to.
It's one more thing that she and I have in common. One more thing we can be connected by. It seems that too often, we're arguing. Over her homework, her messy room, cutting her own hair, picking on her brother. Most days I feel desperate to remember those good moments. Those moments when she's not glaring at me and writing in her diary about how I'm the 'worst mother ever!'*
So today was amazing and it's something I will remember when she's dying Mishka's legs pink (yes, she did).
I wonder sometimes what will happen when she gets older and is able to read this blog. I wonder if she will look over these pages and think "Oh, so that's what she was thinking. I get it." or "Man, she sucks". Or possibly both. But I hope she knows that I want more for her than what she sees.
*During one argument she grabbed her diary and opened it to a page where she had written nothing but "My mother is the worst mother ever!" over and over as if this was proof that I was, indeed, the worst mother ever.