Thursday, November 1, 2007

Crafting for Comfort

As a kid, I only went to the principal's office one time. I'd gotten in trouble on the school bus for being loud and not staying seated. I was terrified - absolutely terrified. I was a pretty good kid, and being sent to the principal's office was akin to being branded with a scarlet letter.

Shortly before I made my visit, my sister gave me something very special: a pencil. The pencil itself wasn't very special (not covered in favorite characters or freshly sharpened or anything) but she told me that if I held on to that pencil while I was in the principal's office, I'd be just fine. She said I could hold it and think of her and know that I was going to be ok.

It made all the difference in the world. I held that pencil so tightly, I had marks grooved on the palms of my hand. I made it through my sole visit with a principal relatively unscathed.

Twenty-five years later, I get to return (or at least pay forward) the favor. My daughter has a test tomorrow. It will be only the second test of her entire life. Her first was last Friday, and it went ... not so well. She was so scared, she started crying, and then freaked out when tears got on her paper.

AK is a people pleaser and a perfectionist - already. It scares the crud out of me, and it's entirely foreign to my own way of thinking (grades? eh ... I wasn't that worried about them). I doubt I'll be able to fully change this feature of her personality, but I'm going to go ahead and start giving her some coping mechanisms and see if that can help ease some of her stress.

We were driving home from school today, and the subject of her Friday spelling test came up. She instantly clinched up and started to wail. I knew that feeling all too well. I jumped in and asked if I could make her a little something that she could carry with her to school and either put it on or in her desk to help keep her calm while she takes the test tomorrow. I told her it could be like me being there with her.

She was all over that idea, and quickly came up with the idea for what she wanted: a blue bird (I have a blue bird of happiness figurine on my desk, and she loves it). She was specific in her design request - a flying bird, wings spread wide, no feet, black eye and a black beak.

Fortunately, she is not in to perfection regarding the things I make for her. She just gets tickled that I make anything at all. I whipped up this little blue bird tonight while watching shows, and it's anything (anything!) but perfect.

I take that back. It's anything but perfectly made, but it's perfect for what she was needing. She asked if I could bring it up to her room and put it in her bed when I finished it (this is something she always asks me - if I'm making something when she goes to bed, she requests that I put it on her pillow when I'm done). It's tucked in by her tonight, and hopefully will be tucked in her desk tomorrow. We still need to check with the teacher to make sure it's ok if she brings it to class ..... Here's hoping there are no tears tomorrow.

P.S. - Sorry for the quality of the image - our camera broke last week. It stinks when I have to scan something that's poofy. But .... this means that we might be getting a new camera for Christmas, so I'm not too bummed .....


  1. I love this story so much! And I'm sending AK lots of good Testing Fortutide Vibes this morning. School is such a jungle sometimes . . . .

  2. I was exactly like AK when I was young. I feel her pain. And that little blue bird might be the most precious thing I have EVER seen. You are a kick ass Mama! Can I get a blue bird for times when I'm freaking out? I need one that is XL size.

    You are so cool.

  3. What a great story! You're a good mama, and I think the bird is truly perfect.


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