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Not Quite Perfect
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Story Winner #6: A Perfectly Not-Quite-Perfect Christmas Moment
I never outgrew the magic of Christmas. Like many of you, the holidays are my favorite time of year. When I became a young mother, I had visions of the magical celebrations I would create for my children with each and every detail perfectly planned, but it took me a quite a few celebrations to realize that perfection is all about perception.
The year my son, J, turned 3, I was determined to have a perfect, tear-free Santa picture made, plus I decided to visit a new Santa. Even though we left the house pretty early that day, the line for Santa had already formed by the time we arrived. From the look of it, I thought we would be waiting in line for half an hour.
At the time, J was at the potty training stage where – if I timed everything just right – we were fine 90% of the time. Before I became a mom, I thought potty training was something you did, and then it was done, but my son has always taught me that life is a process. And potty training was no exception. So on this day, I decided it was time for a pit stop before we got in line.
By the time we got back to where the line to see Santa began, it had grown significantly, but Santa was nowhere to be found. J insisted he could wait so we got in line. About 15 minutes later, Santa arrived, and with each passing moment, my son got more excited and restless. Then, as we got about three families from the front, I felt a small tug on my hand. "Mommy, I need to potty."
Seriously? Now? How could this be? We went 20 minutes ago!
"Really?" I responded.
"Yes," he replied with sheepish eyes.
"You know if we get out of the line now, we will have to wait even longer."
Then I glanced at the line and glanced back at him. There seemed to be only two families before us. Looking at my boy, I saw no dancing, no wiggling, and just slightly anxious eyes. So I made my first mistake and asked, "Are you sure you want to get out of line? We could be waiting forever if we leave now."
He bravely nodded his head and told me he could "hold it." So, against my better judgment, we stayed. No matter what, my kid and I were seeing Santa that day!
You know that saying about a watched pot never boils. Well, I watched my son like a hawk for what felt like hours. I was determined that he would not "boil over." As each picture was taken of the kids in front of us, I became more convinced that we could make it.
But when the front of the line finally approached, I spotted a look in his eyes that told me all was not well. Then I spotted the tiniest of puddles on the floor beside him.
I remember feeling so defeated that day. After a month of being accident-free, he had an accident now?! If my husband was with us, I could have sent him and J to the restroom and I would hold our place in line, but as luck would have it, I sent my husband to do the shopping elsewhere.
I honestly had no idea what to do and started to pick him up and leave. Then I stopped and thought, "No. I brought a change of clothes. We've waited our turn for nearly an hour. I have wipes and lots of napkins. My boy is seeing Santa – even if it kills me!"
I rapidly wiped up our little mess as the family before us was called up. I quickly maneuvered my little boy to peel off his pants, and in a change that felt equivalent to transforming my kid into Superman, I had him clean and dry in just enough time for Santa's elf to call us up.
That day is imprinted in my memory – for a lot of reasons – but mostly because J displayed one of his brightest, most genuine smiles when the elf snapped the camera. Though at the time, that day felt mortifyingly embarrassing, now almost a decade later, it feels like a triumph.
As a three-year-old, J was delighted to finally see Santa.
His sweet smile gives no hint to the drama that preceded the
moment before he crawled up on the jolly elf's lap!
It took me a long time to realize that motherhood is not about being perfect. Making memories is as much about the mistakes as the sparkles. While this particular memory has faded from his mind long ago, it still reminds me that sometimes perfection is often found in life's little imperfect moments.
- Angela Durr
About the Author:
Angela Durr: I am a middle school teacher and mom living in rural Washington state. My son is now 12, and I have a daughter who will be 9 in January. I was pregnant with her at the time of this story, which makes this memory all the more special to me. I have been digitally scrapbooking since 2008, and my Forum name is ange. I like to knit, paint, and make things. My family and I spend a great deal of time outdoors with our two dogs – our nine-year-old golden retriever named Bobo and our five-year-old pug, Emma.
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Commercial license versions of Treasured Heirlooms Collection Mini, Rustic Charm Collection Mini and ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Borderline Christmas are also available.
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Commercial license versions of Dynamic Brush Set: Silent Night 1261 are also available.
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ScrapSimple Club Chat
Tuesday, December 18th - 8:00 p.m. ET
Join Shannon (Tinkerbell11) for a chat about this month's SS Club. Share ideas with one another about how to use the club and ScrapSimple products in general. Don't be afraid to use these versatile products
High Noon Crop
Wednesday, December 19th - 12 Noon ET
Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 12 Noon ET for the High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes, simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week.
On December 19th we'll do a Font Challenge! Create a layout on any theme, any topic, and any colors using at least 2 different fonts! Mix it up!
Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!
Heritage Crop and Chat
Thursday, December 20th - 9:00 p.m. ET
Do you have boxes of heritage photos just waiting to be restored and scrapped? Are there family stories just waiting for you to write down and preserve? Then this is the crop for you! Join April (April Showers) at 9 PM ET for the Heritage Crop and Chat and learn ways to use Antique Edges Paper Biggie to dress up your heritage pages. We'll help you get motivated to scrap those heritage photos and record your family stories for future generations to enjoy.
December's Forum Game: BINGO!
Join us for an exciting game of December BINGO on the Scrap Girls Forum!! Pick 25 words from the list provided and send them in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line that says "BINGO CARD - your Scrap Girls Forum username" by Sunday, December 2nd (Midnight EDT) in order to play in the first round. The first round will begin on Monday, December 3rd. If you miss the first round deadline, you can still play! Just send in your BINGO card at any time during the month, and you'll be eligible to begin playing when the next new round starts.
Each day (Monday through Saturday), a member of the Welcoming Committee will call five random words from the BINGO list. Match just 15 of those words to win a BINGO. You must be first to call "BINGO!" in the game thread to win that round. After a winner is called, the boards will be cleared and a new round will begin the following day.
Each winner will receive a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! We like to see lots of winners, so please remember that each person can only win one round during the month. Have fun!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Forum Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
December Monthly Layout Contest: December is here and that means Family Time! During the holidays, we spend more time with each of our families... and we'd love for you to share your families with us! Post your layouts in the December Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight ET on December 31st and you could one of the two people who will win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! Please be sure to list your layout's product credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties.
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
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