I'm going to have to do some confessing. I think it will make us both feel better.
I haven't been myself lately.
The husband (I will fully admit that he is my right hand. If he did not work from home I think I'd go completely crazy) had a long business trip a couple of weeks back. Then he was sick, then he had some business people in town. It seems like it's just been one thing after another. Throw on top of that some stress about the market and what it might mean for his job and well, we've just been a few degrees off track. We've been like a pot on the verge of boiling over, bubbling, rising.
It's nothing too serious, really, but I've found myself seeing recent days as something to get through and my children as things to be managed, messes to be cleaned, a series of fires to put out. That isn't what I want for them or for me.
So, when I picked up sweet Amanda's
book, The Creative Family
it was as though a dear friend was standing in my kitchen, holding my hand and saying, "take a deep breath, it's gonna be alright."
So much of her dear, warm, gentle book speaks to how our family lives – valuing creativity and time together, honoring traditions, finding inspiration in nature – so of course, I love the book, but not only for the content. I love it for the (ahem) soul behind it. It is truly an outflowing of the kindness, gentleness and mindfulness that is the Soule family. It has been just the quiet voice that I needed to hear.
Early today, feeling a little sour and looking for some inspiration, I turned to the Creative Family and I read a few sentences about not worrying too much about the mess, about letting go and going where the spirit of creativity led.
It led me right to the glitter.
My guys made paper mache egyptian burial masks a week or so ago (after reading about King Tut), and they've been ready for days now to paint and decorate them.
They were shocked when I brought out the much beloved, but VERY rarely seen, glitter.
I'm not one to get worked up over messes. I don't shy away from potentially messy projects, but glitter… the stuff gets in EVERYTHING. It spreads like a sparkly virus. For weeks on end you find it stuck to you, in your food, on your furniture, EVERYWHERE! I am not a fan of glitter in the hands of small children. Not. A. Fan.
So, bringing out the glitter was an act of faith on my part. It was my way of saying that I was willing to experience some fun, enjoy the moment and let go of some of the adult worries and stresses. Just be.
My boys were all too willing to oblige.
At first they painted their masks, according to plan.
Then they got a little more creative.
And then all hell broke loose.
My internal mommy, the one who has been pretty darn crabby lately, wanted to say, "NO NO NO!!!!", but thankfully, I managed to just go with it and let them explore the wonder of being shiny.
This one, he had it in his bellybutton, his ears, between his toes, and stuck in his hair and eyelashes. I just let him do it. I stood back and watched as he deliberately coated himself in silver.
Then he looked at me, and he smiled and he said, "I sparkle Mama!" I just about cried, because he does.
He really does.
Whatever the rest of the day brought, for that moment, we sparkled, we four.
The rest of the day was not perfect. I'm still working my way out of my rut. My attitude is still a little rough around the edges (and let me tell you that it's contagious), but here's the thing…
for the next few months, I'm going to find glitter in the strangest places. It's going to pop up at odd moments, and I"m glad of that, because I know that it's going to bring a smile. That delicious moment is going to reach into days far from now and remind me that my life, even when it's messy, is pretty sparkly too.