Saturday, December 3, 2011

Artful Regrets

My husband and I took our children to the Festival of Trees. This has been a great experience for us for the last several years as we have donated a tree every year since my father in law passed away, with one exception. (the quadruplet year) We enjoy our effort to remember his generosity and help the hospital in their efforts to raise money for those who are not able to afford their hospital bills, and so forth. Our kids have been dragged along each year to take a picture and end up in the boutique or kid area to spend a dollar or two of their own.

This year our finances are a little leaner and my patience was a little thinner. We did not attempt the kid area; we skimmed through the trees, skipped the gingerbread houses and hurried over to the boutique. Of course, we saw the quilts on our way. Since I have all the time in the world now (ha ha.) I told the kids that, although we did not have $500 to buy a quilt and most of them were sold already anyway, we could take a picture and I would try to make one for them later (meaning perhaps by the time they were getting married).

After what seemed like ages of arguing, pushing, and whining about being to tired, hungry, and poor, we ended up in the boutique. When trying to agree on one blanket we could buy and SHARE a little one ended up on the floor crying.

I was done. I picked him up and headed for the door. My brood came screaming and crying behind me. “I want to buy something! I thought you said we could get a blanket! Waaa!”

I wondered why I cared if we learned about loving others and being generous at all. Outside we began to unravel. I asked, “What was it about the blanket that was so wonderful? Are you cold at night? Is it because we want to give money to the hospital? Are they just so soft and comfy and beautiful that we really want one?”

Of course the answer was they are just so beautiful and soft. I reminded them I said I would try to make one for them.

“But what if the store doesn’t have the right fabric? *sob*”

So, off we go to the fabric store to feel different types of fabrics and tell me, not what they want but rather what feeling they like the best. (I know, I am asking for trouble here. Taking all six kids out again? Crazy!) No one chose silky. Denim was not their favorites either, but Stephen, the one who was making the biggest fuss over it, said he couldn’t decide and I could just surprise him.

Well, making a quilt would take a functioning sewing machine and probably one that was not borrowed for months on end. We walked past the display of machines just to price them out and wow! They were right across the aisle from the art section! I could hardly pull the kids away from it.

It was a solid 15 minutes of: “Wow! Look at this!”

“I could use this!”

“Hey, did you guys see this!?”

“Whoa! Check this out!”

When we finally left every one of the kids were dancing their way out the door singing, “This is going to be the best Christmas ever!”

Still grumpy from the festival I said, “Why? Because you went to a store?”

“No, because we are going to ask for art and learning time supplies for Christmas!”

I moaned and called my mother. “Mom, have you bought presents for the kids yet? They really want art supplies.”

After a short pause she said, “You mean like the ones you just returned yesterday?”

We both broke out in laughter when I said, “YES!”

Who would have thought that they would prefer paint and paper over an X-Box game?

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