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Imperfections

November 14, 2010

With less than two months until Christmas, I’ve thrown myself deep into far too many craft projects.  As soon as I start one, I all too quickly distract myself with something new.  I have plans, so many, too many plans…but haven’t made a dent in my crafting to-do list.

Today was a dreary, damp day…a perfect day for crafting.  While Shane was occupied on the living room floor with his wooden train set, I decided to pull out the sewing machine, the felt and poly-fil, and get to work.

I’ve been wanting to create some more felt food to go with what I’ve already made for Shane.  After scoring the internet, I’ve come across directions for creating some of my son’s favorite foods out of felt, such as watermelon slices, frozen popsicles, broccoli florets, ice cream cones, and even an entire roast turkey…with removable drumsticks!

One of Shane’s absolute favorite foods is a simple cheeseburger…and that’s the one item on my list that I couldn’t find a free pattern anywhere online.  There were some patterns available on etsy.com that I could purchase, but I decided to go the cheap route and attempt to figure it out on my own.   I used circles of dark brown, ivory, and tan felt to create two buns and a burger, and a square of yellow felt served as the cheese.

In theory, this should have worked.  I was envisioning something along the lines of these incredible examples. In reality, what I made has to be the wonkiest burger I’ve ever seen in my life. The buns were bulbous.  The burger was warped.  And when held all together, it was far too thick for Shane to easily hold in his hands, and he quickly became frustrated.  I tried to salvage it by sewing through both buns and the patty…

…and wound up with this:

Lumpy, bumpy, and all-together disappointing…it’s nothing like I envisioned.  It looked mangled, like a cheeseburger that had been assembled by a chimpanzee. I tossed it onto the kitchen table in frustration, and wandered back to the computer to look for a felt cheeseburger pattern that I could buy. I bookmarked several, and started the internal debate on whether or not to break down and buy.

I was sitting in front of the computer, annoyed and discouraged, when my thoughts were interrupted by Shane’s cheerful exclamation of  “A cheeesbuggah!  MY cheesebuggah!”  He was clutching it to his chest and doing a little happy dance.  “I lub my cheezebuggah!”

That lumpy, bumpy, vaguely cheeseburger-ish lump did not leave his hand for the rest of the day.  He pretended to take ravenous bites out of the felt.  He “fed” it to me, to my husband, to his stuffed animals.  He cooked it in his little frying pan, and gave it rides in his fire truck.  As I type, he’s curled up in his bed, sound asleep, snuggled up with a felt cheeseburger.

I learned something today.  I’m far too hard on myself, and all to often set my expectations unreachablely high.  This little boy isn’t looking for me to be a perfect crafter…or a “perfect” mother.  He was completely satisfied with what I saw as a being a complete failure, and found magic in something that I was ready to discard because of those imperfections.  He doesn’t love me because I have a self-defeating tendency to strive to be some kind of Supermom…he loves me because I’m his mom, messy imperfections and all.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2010 10:55 pm

    And don’t you forget it! 🙂

  2. November 15, 2010 6:12 am

    You are so right. Our kids don’t come with instruction manuals and there is no college degree on motherhood. We just do our best and our kids accept and love us as we are. We need to be reminded that we don’t need to be perfect. So often we set such high standards and compare ourselves against each other unnecessarily. Luckily your little boy has just proved that you are as perfect as his cheese burger!!!

    • November 20, 2010 9:39 am

      I feel like I’m learning more about life — and about myself — since becoming the mother of this little boy. It’s as though children have this simple, innocent wisdom, and if you just pay attention to what they’re teaching you, you can learn so much. He’s been teaching me patience, for one, and teaching me that there’s no need to strive for absolute perfection in every little thing I do. It’s pretty humbling, really.

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