I literally just picked up no fewer than 1000 miniature rubber bands in every color of the rainbow. Haddie is obsessed with creating jewelry using her Rainbow Loom. And, she is astonishingly great at it. However, I am not and every now and again she needs a bit of grown up help. Today we resorted to You Tube when I couldn’t figure out how to turn 42 orthodontic bands into a 20 Karat tennis bracelet.
That was good for my ego.
Not only did I FAIL at helping, I was instantly replaced by Jacey from Craft Life.
Jacey can’t be older than eight. She laid her materials out and explained and demonstrated and basically taught my six year-old how to make a pair of hoop earrings in under 7 minutes.
When I tried to intervene, Haddie said “Hey, Mom! Know what would really help me? How about if you organize all my bands by color–they are such a mess!”
Wait a minute. I know busy work when it’s offered to me in consolation.
The only redeeming thing about those God-forsaken bands is that they have overtaken Duck Tape as the craft item of choice. Now, you all know I LOVE my Haddie. But I also LOVE my handbags. It is so unfair for me to be forced to carry Duck Tape coated Ziplock bags when I have several coordinating classic and flawlessly categorized bags rotting in my closet.
So now, I have my handbags back. But, my most cherished bangles have just been replaced by elaborate rubber fishtails in a wide variety of non-matching colors. Remember when Silly Bands were popular? I would groan at the knotted messes on my kids wrists and ankles, but I NEVER had to wear them myself! How did this happen?
I know that someday I will cherish these things and honestly they do occupy Haddie for hours at a time. It’s just that I long for the times when my “gift for Mother’s Day” could sit on my desk where it would make me smile. Now, it’s not enough to just know where these gifts of love are, I actually have to wear them.
A few months ago, I met a new patient. As we warmed to each other she complimented me on my bracelet. I did the classic “Oh..this old thing?” maneuver as I carefully twisted my right wrist just so. That bangle really sparkled in the light. The year Chris gave it to me for my birthday, he gently reminded me that for that entire winter, I was not allowed to buy myself so much as a pair of stockings. Needless to say, I wore a lot of slacks that year..but it was worth it.
Alas, the lovely lady was not looking at my RIGHT wrist. She was eying the colorful twists on my left.
As she pulled her sleeve up to reveal her own brightly colored collection of bands, I realized something.
ALL parents* have long wanted to wear the stuff our kids make us. Finally, thanks to the creators of Duck Tape and The Rainbow Loom, it has never been easier.
*sarcasm except for Chris. He will wear anything kid crafted– and at times more than one creation at a time.
To the bazillionaires behind these two items, I know I speak for a ton of moms out there when I say: “Thanks—thanks a lot.”
Lastly, to the budding 9 year-old Martha Stewart contemplating an empire of pencil erasers turned sweaters, don’t you have some playing to do? Go on now. Don’t waste another minute of your precious childhood creating an instrument of dread for parents. We really have all the accessories we can handle right now.