Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Trap

I should not have been there and I knew it. But I wandered over to the magazine section just to take a peek, because I was curious. "It's a trap," I heard a voice say, "don't do it."

I ignored the voice, picked up the October special issue of Family Fun magazine, whipped it open and rapidly scanned the pages. With one look I was impressed with the clever cupcakes and the creative crafts and my mind began to race with possibilities. Ohhh, milk jug ghost luminaries. I can do that! Mummies fashioned from craft sticks, craft spoons, wire snips, muslin, glue and googly eyes. Easy! Would you like to know how to turn your entire house into a House O' Lantern with strategically cut and placed paper in the windows? Why yes, I would. And what's this? Oranges hollowed out, cut like jack o' lanterns and filled with fruit salad. Thematic AND healthy. I continued to turn pages and marveled at the enormous amount of ideas presented to me.

Jackpot. All the crafts and recipes I would need to make our Halloween party a smashing success were right here, in one nifty magazine. I placed it in my cart and headed toward the craft section to score supplies for those mummies. And then that little voice inside my head said, "Have you lost your mind? Put that magazine back right now. You know better than this." And the voice was right. Because the voice recalled the night I frosted and re-frosted a cake three times until it was "perfect". The voice also remembered the time I wasted hours trying to make my own mummy costume but abandoned the idea once I realized I looked less like a frightful mummy and more like the Michelin Man. And the voice remembered that I have painstakingly removed certain colors from a container of multi-colored sprinkles because they didn't go with my theme. The voice reminded me that when I get these grand ideas I also get grandly stressed because they don't always work out. Oh the voice knows me too well.

It's not that I'm opposed to arts and crafts and clever concoctions, it's just that I have to set limits for myself. I'm not knocking Family Fun magazine at all. With their help I made a space shuttle cake for Jake's 7th birthday that was out of this world. Pun intended. I'm simply saying that sometimes what women see in magazines can make them feel bad about themselves and that's what happens to me if I stare too long at creativity on parade. Plus all those smiling children in the photos, so happy, living it up because their mommies made cool snacks and crafty crafts. The pressure, the trap.

I put the magazine back on the shelf and held my head high on the way to check out. We are having a Halloween party and my boys are psyched for Saturday. We won't be making mummies and our house won't look like a jack o' lantern but there will be food and families and fun. And a trick or treasure hunt. And a giant moonwalk/slide for the backyard. And creepy cupcakes whipped up by the good ladies at the grocery store's bakery. Crafts scmafts.

My boys won't know all the neat things that could have been. They will only know that their mummy had snacks and treats on the table and she welcomed their friends and smiled and bounced and it was the best party ever.


  1. You are one smart cookie, Miss Christina!! I often fall into that trap too...I buy all the "doesn't this look so simple" magazines and all I have to show for it is a dusty stack of magazines that only come in handy when my kids need to clip something for homework projects.
    You will be a great mum, I am sure...have a safe and fun weekend!

  2. Liked the pun intended. :D I get you on this one. I think somehow I've found a sneaky way out of a trap door. I just finished a quilt that is pretty sad looking, but I'm so okay with that. My trap door is the realization that you concluded with...FUN, and laughter...these are the things of life. Quilts and mummy crafts...not so much.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Your Halloween party sounds like the kind I like to attend.

  4. First of all, I think we might be members of different species. I have never owned a chip clip (from your other post) and I would never even think to open the magazine and see the craft parade. I giggle when I imagine you picking through different colors of sprinkles! The message here: you are my domestic role model :)

    In all seriousness though, I love the moral of this post. As mothers, as people, we need to stop holding ourselves to such insane standards. We need to do the best we can, have fun with our kiddos on fun Halloween and let the magazine perfection stay on the pages of magazines. Cheers to imperfect, but GOOD mummies!

  5. Your party sounds like the good old fashioned type that make really fond memories. I'm sure your boys loved it - They won't remember the jack o lantern, really, but will remember the laughs, the friends, the sense of "home" in their lives. Kudos to you!

  6. Aunt Penny was telling me about this story when I saw her friday. She loved it, she can definatey relate!Isnt it interesting the conversations we have with ourselves. Tim always wonders how I can be in target for so long. This morning I spent 10 minutes in the gladware isle. They had some new storage containers with 2 compartments. This tripped me up for a while, decided to not get them this time...but came away with zipper seal in the quart and gallon size.

  7. its more fun to think of all the possibilities of what a fun mom you could be than to actually do those things. in my mind, i am so crafty!