December 21, 2010

The gift of encouragement...

Over the past week or so I have worked with some intensity on the few handmade Christmas gifts I had planned for this year.  If you’re seeing fireworks in the sky accompanied by shouts of jubilation, it’s me celebrating that I’m finally done.  With those checked off my list, today I’ll tackle cleaning the house that has suffered both decay and growth during this time of craftiness: decay because it smells like something died, and growth because of the junk that has accumulated on every available surface.  I wish I could say it was all the kids’ stuff, but alas, it’s mine.
There’s the normal mess that accumulates when I’m extremely busy, like school books, papers, and supplies, laundry, and dirty dishes, not to mention the dust and grime that grows on these when they’re left untouched for days.  But when what you’re busy with is working on three different crafts at once, and you’re a bit of a slob like me, bits and pieces of each project can be found from room to room amongst the normal mess.  One of my projects involved embroidery thread, and next to where I sit each morning  with my laptop, I have a little pile of the leftovers that brought an idea to mind.  Just when I thought I was done, I am adding another crafty task to my to-do list, but one I’ll happily place there.  I am making just one more thing, but not a Christmas gift.  It’s a friendship gift for one very special little friend.
Through this busy week in Arts-and-crafts-land, those sweet kids of mine have been a great help to me by doing whatever housework they could and encouraging me with compliments on the projects as they began to take shape.  Every one of them was a help in one way or another, but my little Audra contributed in an extra special way.  Every so often as I’d sit working on the gifts, murmuring to myself that I should have started earlier, or that I had made a mistake that was going to cost me four hours, a little folded card would appear next to me.  There’d be a heart, or a simple drawing of a little stick figure girl and her stick figure mom, or perhaps something covered in glitter glue, googly eyes, and pom-poms.  It would say “I love you” or something equally sweet.  Whatever form it took, it happened often, and they were all notes of encouragement and love from my crafty and compassionate daughter.
Meanwhile, she has followed my lead and spent her free time over the past week not just making me cards, but creating some handmade presents to give to her favorite people on Christmas.  So now it’s my turn to encourage her.  I am turning the afore-mentioned little pile of embroidery thread into a good ol’ 1980’s friendship bracelet.  When I was in junior high I’d sit for hours making these for my friends.  Though I'm hopeful it won’t take me hours now, since that messy house still awaits my attention, I’m happily making a little bracelet for one of my favorite friends.  I hope it will tell her how special she is to me and encourage her in her efforts to make things for people she loves, just like she did for me.

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