So much of parenting is about ego.
When Elle was in kindergarten she had to bring a spotlight poster on her birthday. I went to town. I wanted to do something unique and of course, cute. (Insert ego here!) I came up with the ingenious idea to do a “Lift the Flap” poster. I put pictures of Elle with labeled tabs such as “Talents” or “Favorite Things” or “Nicknames”.
Then when you lifted the pictures you would find more specific information underneath.
My favorite idea was the “Baby Stats” tab. When you lifted that flap, you found a piece of yarn in a ziploc bag that was the length of Elle when she was born. (I wanted the kids to have a visual of how long 23.5 inches is!)
Then I embellished the poster with glitter letters, rhinestones, and furry twine. It wasn’t me, but it was Elle, and it was dang cute. Her teacher even said, “I have never seen this idea before. That is so clever.” (Stroke ego!) I was pretty proud of my Elle’s poster.
Fast forward 5 years and add a little bit of wisdom and a little less ego.
We had to do a spotlight poster today for Croft’s birthday. We used what little pictures I had on hand and I let Croft concept the whole poster. (Take out ego here!) She wanted a pink poster with pictures in the middle and words around the edges. She picked the pictures she wanted and arranged them. I put glue on the back and she placed them on the board. Croft told me what she wanted me to write around the edge. She even picked the color of markers I used. Then she embellished the poster in her own way with curly q’s everywhere.
As we were working on the poster, Croft said, “This is the prettiest poster ever mom.” She was so happy with the results.
The difference between Elle’s poster and Croft’s poster comes down to 1 word: ego. (OK maybe 2 words- the second being energy.) Although I did have Elle help with her poster, it was more about me and my vision. I wanted the teacher to know I was creative and dependable. I wanted the moms that passed the poster in the hall to stop and awe.
But with Croft’s poster it was more about her and her vision. The older I get, the less ego is involved; the more I let go and let it be the kids’ project and not mine; the more I conserve priceless energy for other projects. I no longer need to impress the teachers or the other moms or even myself. It is enough for me that my kid creatively engaged in the process and loved her results.
Cheers to getting older and wiser and cheers to less ego!