I began my gratitude Friday post on Friday, really I did, but it wasn't shaping up to be what I wanted, so I ditched it in favor of pizza and a movie with the family. I made it through the pizza and about 30 minutes of the movie before my eyes became too heavy to keep open one more minute. Hopefully after a good night's sleep, and a slice of pizza for breakfast, my Gratitude Friday (Saturday edition) will be coherent at least.
Above is my early Mother's Day present. What is it, you ask? Four inch blocks under my cutting table. Are they made of some special material? Did you have to order them? Nope and nope. They are just some scrap wood Mitch had lying around he cut into blocks and spray painted black to raise my table up to a better cutting height.
When asked what I wanted for Mother's day, that's what I asked for. Not specifically 4 inch blocks spray painted black. No, I just said my table was too low and I would like a solution so that my back doesn't hurt after a day of cutting. I'm sure you're beginning to wonder where this is going, why this is post worthy. I'm getting there.
20 years. That's how long Mitch and I have been married now. For that I am exceedingly grateful, but today what I am grateful for is more specific. I'm grateful that over the past 20 years I've grown, evolved, changed and gained some hard earned nuggets of wisdom along the way. I've learned about myself and my husband and how we think differently and show our love differently and that evolution, that willingness to change (although at times reluctantly) has made for a pretty good life.
Lets rewind back to the late 80, early 90's shall we. Picture a young wife and mother (yes, with big hair) and Mother's Day (or any other holiday, really). The holiday is approaching and though I haven't been specific about what I would like for Mother's Day I have expectations that it will be wonderful. Not necessarily expensive, but wonderful. It will be just what I want or need. I don't know exactly what I want or need mind you, but in my naive little young bride mind, I believe that my handsome prince should know these things. If he loves me with all his heart he will surely make it his life's mission to make me happy by surprising me with exactly what I want. That's the way it happens in the movies, right? The happy couple are at a candle lit table and he pulls out the beautifully wrapped box and she bursts into tears because he has gone to so much trouble to find the perfect gift. I probably don't have to tell you that scene didn't play out at my house and the young bride was inevitably disappointed. She felt like the effort that he put into finding the perfect gift should be equivalent to his love for her. Over the years she accepted that there would be no mind blowing surprise, even so she still felt like it was a lack of effort or desire on his part. Then over time something happened. There was a change in her thinking and her perspective. She began to see that her groom may not give gifts like they do in the movies but he gives more important gifts every day. He takes care of her and their home and family. He doesn't buy his own clothes, why did she think he would be able to buy the perfect little dress for her? It wasn't because he didn't want her to have the perfect gift, he's just not a shopper. When that perspective changed and she began to see the true gifts were given to her everyday, holidays began to be much happier. She was much better at knowing exactly what she wanted so why not just tell him.
Sometimes unrealistic expectations and blurred perspective get in the way of seeing the true gifts. The best gifts can't be wrapped in a box and the real surprise is in recognizing the presents that don't need a holiday to be given.
My real Mother's Day gift is my family and the finest store in town doesn't have an item that could ever be more valuable to me than my best friend and husband and our children.
This year I don't want jewelry or clothes that I don't need and will never wear.* I know that love is not shown by going to the mall. Love is shown by putting blocks under my cutting table so I can be more comfortable doing what I love to do.
*The best gifts don't come from the mall, but, Alyssa knows me well enough to find some pretty neat little surprises and she's become her dad's personal shopper.
**If you're observant you noticed the bassinet still hanging around the sewing room. I know I said I only had some tweaking to do and I'd be finished. That wasn't false, but it wasn't entirely true either. The part that needed tweaking was tweaked and worked out fine. I then encountered trouble where I didn't expect it. See the hood? The hood cover that was given to me as a guide looked easy enough to duplicate, but on closer examination, I had no desire to duplicate it. There's no nice way of putting it, it's just plain ugly. It looks like a poorly made, ill fitting bonnet. What I envision is a snug fitting cover for the hood. Tailored not loose and floppy. Something like this. The only problem is I have no idea how to get there. If anyone has done this successfully, I'd love to hear your suggestions.