What Happens When Mommy Can't Ignore Her Creative Spirit (a.k.a. Doing The Math)
First, allow me to set the stage.
We have two kids.
One is in second grade. He has a teacher, a student teacher, an art teacher, a music teacher, a librarian, a gym teacher, and of course a principal (and school secretary) who all influence his day-to-day learning. He is in a class that has 28 students. He has a bus driver who I trust daily with my son's life (and she does an excellent job). He also has a holiday party today.
Our other child is in preschool. Two preschool classes to be exact. She has two teachers for each class. In total, her two classes have 27 students.
Over the past 48 hours, and with help from hubby & the kids, I have been finalizing the gifts for all of these important people.
I made 30 brownies for the holiday party, topped with 30 little santas.
I melted 4 bags of white chocolate, crushed 2 boxes of peppermint candy canes, tossed in a bit of peppermint oil (edible) to make 2 full sheets of Peppermint Bark.
I broke up the refrigerated bark into 12 different Ball jars.
I wrapped these jars with 12 7" strips of cut-and-glued ribbon,
topped the jars with printed and carefully-cut toppers (found HERE online),
wrapped the tops with an additional 12 7" strips of ribbon, and added one of 12 tags that were created for the recipient. (These were for teachers & staff.)
I created "Number Cubes" for our son's class and "Letter Cubes" for our daughter's class. (These were small wooden, pre-colored cubes found at Hobby Lobby. On the number cubes I wrote the numbers 1-6 on each face. On the letter cubes, I wrote capital vowels (A,E,I,O,U) or lower case vowels on a cube with a star on the final face.)
I invented games for the Number Cubes and games for the Letter Cubes, typed up instructions, and printed them for each student.
In total, there were 56 bags to stuff. (My son and daughter didn't get a bag to take to school.)
(again, with help from hubby)
I folded 56 game instruction sheets. These and 112 cubes (2 per child) were placed in the cellophane bags.
I lucked out on finding 40 pencils on sale, so all of my son's classmates and one of my daughter's classes also received pencils in their bags.
Candy is a definite child-pleaser, so we stuffed 56 tiny candy-canes - one per bag.
Each child also received a foam-bookmark (again, a "find" at Hobby Lobby). Each foam piece was pre-colored and cut-to-shape.
Then came 112 holes. I punched a snowflake hole at the bottom & a star hole at the top. I wrote each child's name (56 total) on the front and back of each bookmark, then tied 56 ribbons through the tops of the bookmarks.
56 different bookmarks then got added to the cellophane bags.
Finally, each child received a tag wishing them happy holidays - 27 from our son, 26 from our daughter.
This was hours of work. I'm not asking for accolades. (To be honest, I'm not even sure if I would do this again. I don't consider myself "THIS TYPE" of mommy. This all just kind of.....happened.) I'm sharing this because of what I realized around midnight last night as the last bows are being tied.
Did I need to do any of this?
But did I enjoy it?
If life is spent doing only what we have to do, thinking we only have time for what needs to be done, our days become dry and repetitive. That's no way to live.
Instead, I am rewarded with this:
and of course, this:
Those smiles and the stories behind them....That is why I don't count the hours.
Anything I do with love and for love is worth doing for countless lifetimes.