And then Kymri absolutely refused to cooperate, and we ended up with this:
It's slightly creepy, totally messy, and definitely not "pin-worthy." But I still love it, because it represents a great memory.
You see, I had a choice the day we made Brad's Valentine. I could have forced Kymri to sit still until I had made the perfect Valentine. We would have both become frustrated, tired, and I still wouldn't have been guaranteed a good end product. I would have had a mess to clean up, and been upset that the mess wasn't even worth the fuss. If my end goal was to only have a pinnable image, I would have lost a great moment that followed.
Rather than getting upset that all Kymri wanted to do was explore the paint and "ruin" my vision of the perfect Valentine, I just decided to go with it. We got out the edible paints, and I just let her play. She wasn't in to what I had planned, but I could tell that she would really enjoy feeling the paints and just exploring them. Would it make a total mess? Absolutely. Would we get anything amazing at the end of the day? Well, that depends on what your definition of amazing is. It wouldn't be something that I would proudly pin for the world to see, with detailed directions on how to replicate my 10 month old's perfect masterpiece. But it would be amazing because Kymri and I did it together.
I didn't force Kymri to do what I wanted her to. I didn't try to capture the perfect shot. Instead, I snapped a couple of quick pictures to remember the moment, and then I put the camera away, got on the floor with my baby, and painted. And it was a beautiful thing.
When Kymri just wanted to eat the paint, I didn't try to force her to do it my way. I knew that I had made the paint for exactly this reason, and water and flour wouldn't hurt her. So I let her explore. When she was more interested in the plastic than the painting, I let her crinkle it to her heart's content, even if it meant leaving the paint behind.
We sure did have a mess when we were done. I literally took Kymri straight from the plastic to the bathtub. But I didn't mind cleaning it up. We hadn't left a perfect project behind, but we had spent a morning together that I will remember for a long time to come. Perhaps we hadn't made a masterpiece, but we had made a memory. And that is worth so much more.
Now don't get me wrong, there have been days when I have striven for the pinterest worthy projects. I've wanted everything to be just so and I got upset when it wasn't. But then, there have been times when everything was Pinterest perfect, and I felt even less fulfilled. Because I had missed it. I had captured it in the photo, but hadn't captured it in my memory. I hadn't been present. There is nothing wrong with beautiful, picture perfect moments. So long as we aren't missing the real moment. Am I behind the camera instead of elbow deep in the project? In my efforts to capture a memory on film, do I neglect to make the memory in the first place? In my efforts to make everything just so, am I forgetting to see the beauty in the process? The joy in the learning? The perfection in the mess?
Life might not be Pinterest worthy, but boy is it good! And I don't want to miss all those good things because I'm caught up in the not so perfect moments. So ladies, if you have Pinterest perfect projects, cheers to you! Keep it up and please continue to post so that I can be inspired. But if you're like me, and things just don't quite turn out that way, enjoy the moment for what it is rather than mourning over what it isn't. Chances are, it was pretty darn good.