Earlier this month my kids and I did a Thanksgiving craft together that I think is adorable because I think anything made out of clay pots is adorable. It’s a pot! It’s a pilgrim! The shenanigans are endless around here.
Anyway, here’s the final product:
Holy psycho! Somehow when I wasn’t looking, baby pilgrim was transformed into a disturbing homage to the Joker from Batman. If I listen closely, I can even hear her whispering to Papa Pilgrim in a raspy voice, “Wanna know how I got these scars?” This is followed by Papa Pilgrim shaking in his Protestant boots because let’s face it, that is one terrifying baby pilgrim face.
“You’ll regret it,” he said.
So I paused. I looked at the creepiest smile I’ve ever seen and began to laugh. My daughter has the greatest, gummiest smile and she draws smiles on everything. She had made it clear to all of us that this baby pilgrim represented her, so it obviously needed a beaming smile.
I’m so glad my husband stopped me from erasing that smile. The experience made me think about all the times I get focused on a task or an objective, and I forget that sometime the mistakes and imperfections are far better than what I originally had in mind.
And I know as my children grow, I will miss those imperfections. My older daughter, for example, used to drop the ‘R’ sound at the end of her words. This made her sound very southern and I used to work with her on pronouncing the R. And then one day, she did. Just like that, she said her Rs correctly and I missed her adorable southern drawl that had become such a part of her.
One day, life will be a little more “perfect.” I won’t find Sofia the First stickers on every wall in my house. I won’t have to pretend to be able to read the notes my older daughter leaves me around the house. Incorrect lyrics, backwards names, and everything else that seems to be a mistake now will be fixed. And I will miss them.
My daughter will stop drawing smiley faces on everyone at some point, too, and then I’ll treasure this horrifying little baby pilgrim. When I asked my daughter why she drew the smile, she simply said, “Her look happier with a smile. Her happy because it’s Christmas.”
OK, so she has a pretty shaky grasp on grammar and holidays, but the meaning is there: She wanted the pilgrim to be happy. When I look at this pilgrim face in 10 years, it will make me happy to remember my sweet 3-year-old daughter wanting everyone to smile and be happy.
I’m grateful today for the reminder me that the things that look like mistakes can sometimes be the best parts of life, and that the most imperfect moments often end up being our most treasured memories.