just give me a box of crayons

It’s 10 p.m. on the eve of A’s first day back to preschool. And, I stare blankly at an equally blank piece of black construction paper. No inspiration. No motivation. This will be his placemat at school for the entire year.


Now, normally, when given such a task, I would have written his name neatly in the corner, or, perhaps, even used stickers for his name, and then let him color to his heart’s content. I love my son’s artwork even if it’s just a bunch of scribbles to the rest of the world. But, that wouldn’t work this time. Because they gave him a BLACK piece of paper, which means crayons are out and markers are worthless. That’s about the extent of my “craft” closet.

This is really one of those moments where a degree in Pinterest would come in handy. Or, a Pinterest fairy godmother would work, too. But, no, here I am with nothing, counting down the hours until I have to come up with something.

As the paper continues to taunt me, my thoughts wander to what the other moms are doing for their child’s placemat, and then to A’s new school year. And, I begin tallying all the holidays and parties this year that will undoubtedly become Pinterest-inspired extravaganzas. And, thus, instead of making a miracle appear on this piece of paper, I felt compelled to write a letter to my children instead:

Dear Children,

It’s best that you know and accept this now at an early age. I love you. I love you more than you will ever know and always will, but, please know that you should never equate my love with my skills as a crafter. Because I am a Pinterest failure.

It’s okay, and I can openly admit that. I would love to be crafty and fill your lives with designer birthday parties or intricate snowman inspired breakfasts or amazing marble race tracks.

But, really, it’s probably not going to happen. Most trials have ended catastrophically. Forget the dinosaur shaped sandwiches accompanied with fruit shaped palm trees. I’ll try to remember to cut off the crust. And, those adorable homemade Valentine’s… I hear Target has an excellent selection that even include temporary tattoos. If we ever own an Elf on the Shelf, that’s where he will stay… on the shelf. And, I still believe intricate homemade baked good can’t touch the ease and deliciousness of the Pillsbury ready bake cookies.

So, while Mommy may pin hundreds of pins that are just “Adorable!” and “Brilliant!” and would make every other mom in your class swoon, let’s not get our hopes up, kiddos. Because most things that should come out looking like a masterpiece end up straight to the trash.

The best advice I have to offer is to become best friends with the kids whose moms excel at Pinterest. And, maybe that mom can hook you up with treats for the bake sale when she sees you stroll in with a bag of Oreos.

With love,