Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Childhood Traits

When I recently shared the ice cream cards that I made, my dad said it made him happy because it reminded him of how I used to make homemade cards for everyone when I was little.  That got me thinking. 

I really have enjoyed making stuff my whole life, particularly homemade gifts for people.  I cringe a little to think about the crap items that people had to gracefully accept from me.  But I do remember the excitement I felt as I was lost in my own world, focused on making a gift for someone special.

In fact, a lot of who I am today goes back to when I was a little girl.  I've already shared that I have an addiction to office supplies.  I remember using old photocopied school papers, old logs from my dad's truck-driving days, and old green bar paper from my dad's computer company to entertain myself for hours.  My grandma had a drawer in her kitchen that was full to the top with scrap paper and markers (the kind that basically make you high from the smell).  I just loved making stuff.

I remember an office supply treasure that I had:  colored Scotch tape.  It had little designs on the tape, and I used it on some of my homemade creations.  Well, nowadays it has a fancy name and sells for a much higher price and is fairly trendy in the craft world.  I recently bought myself some of this "Washi tape" as a fun throwback to my childhood craft time:

My boys detest drawing, coloring, and most crafts.  But Nora loves coloring, so there may be some hope of her doing crafts with me eventually.

I often observe my kids and analyze what traits they got from me.  Poor things got a lot of my quirks.

Nolan is uber sensitive, which comes from both Jared and me.  Yesterday he was watching a cartoon during naptime, and he came out crying and seeking comfort.  When he calmed down enough for me to understand him, he said that he watched the last episode ever of a cartoon he likes, and the characters had to say goodbye forever to one of their friends.  Nolan was so heartbroken over the whole thing.  This is totally me.  I relate too much to movies, books, and tv shows.  I feel the pain of others, real or fictional.  It's good for reaching out to people around me who are hurting, but it also means I get my feelings hurt a lot.

Griffin has many quirks, and I'm guessing most of them can be traced back to me.  He doesn't like crowds, loud noises, or being the center of attention.  All are true for me.  He is very interested in baking, which is obviously from me.  He hoards random objects such as receipts, magazine subscription cards, bungee cables, and super cheap toys.  I remember being something of a pack rat as a child (I've come a long way, but I'm still not perfect).

Nora is a mini-me.  She is super observant, and I'm glad to have a helper in this area since Jared and Nolan can't find items in their own hands.  Yesterday Nora asked me to draw her a unicorn.  Gulp.  I drew something that looked like a child's drawing of a dog with a horn on its head.  She pointed out that I had forgotten to draw its ear.  This morning Nolan got the milk out of the fridge to pour over his cereal, and Nora hollered from her seat at the table, "That's Mommy and Daddy's milk."  She was right.  Our milk has a pink cap, and the kids' milk has a red cap.  She noticed the difference on her own. 

Nora also loves to help me bake, mostly because she loves sneaking dough.  I've had a serious dough/batter addiction for my whole life.  No sign of recovery any time soon.

Several weeks ago I made cookies for someone else to serve at their party.  Nora wanted to help, and I gave her very strict instructions not to touch/eat/sneak the dough in any way.  She kept looking at the dough in the Kitchen Aid.  Every 10 seconds she would say, "See?  I'm not eating it."

I watch my kids and wonder who they'll be as adults.  The same strong will that pushes me to my very limit almost daily will help Griffin push through challenges in his life.  Nora's independence can be frustrating now when I just want to do things quickly, but it will help her accomplish great things in the days ahead.  I worry that Nolan may never stop being so hard on himself since I'm 30 and haven't figured out how to show myself grace.  But Nolan will be an amazing husband, just like his dad.

It's fun to look back and see how some of my personality traits have been consistent for my whole life.    Some of the flaws still haven't been smoothed out.  But I have always loved to make stuff. Wanna know my favorite thing I've ever made?  My kids. 

They are all still works in progress.  Some days I feel like I'm molding clay into something beautiful, and other days I feel more like a little girl who taped some mismatched paper together and called it a purse.  My homemade cards sure have come a long way.  And I have to cling to the hope that with God's help I will be able to help my kids grow into exactly who they were created to be.



  1. LOVE this post! Love, love, love it.

  2. Well I hate to be so unoriginal, but the above comment was exactly what I had planned! So, I'll say it anyway: LOVE this post! (OK, truth be told I hadn't planned on adding "love, love, love it", but now that I see it - I concur.) You are such a lovely person and mama. Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us.