Yesterday I took a little too long to do my Saturday afternoon errands (what can I say, it was the first Saturday of the month and Costco was mobbed, I tell you -- but oh, the samples! Jelly Belly! Lobster ravioli!) and I had to do a least a little something about the fact that spring is definitely springing here in Austin and my four year old has hardly a shred of clothing to wear for the season. Seriously, if it gets any warmer she'll be forced to either melt away or go indecent. So anyway, by the time I returned home, staggering in with giant vats of whatever it was I bought at Costco, I was a bit late to take the older two on our planned outing to the bead store.
See, it's my MIL's birthday tomorrow, and since she once said she prefers homemade gifts, we've taken her literally ever since. This time, rather than yet another handpainted plate or whatnot, I decided to try homemade jewelry (Tim did this with them for me around Christmas time). Knowing we'd be late to our picnic dinner with Sam, Vanessa and Benjamin but trusting Tim and Caroline to fill in for us, we headed over to Nomadic Notions, where I just barely refrained from having a nervous breakdown while shepherding Ian and Eliza through picking out their beads and gathering the right supplies. Heel, control freak! Sit! Stay!
Ian decided to do his stringing right there in the store, so I basically gave up on getting to the park before dark, and just let him do his thing. Picture the scene: a gaggle of middle-aged women assembling for a class, oohing and ahhing over the latest shipment of beads, exclaiming over each other's creations or just practicing at the worktable, and in the midst of it, a (rather grubby (did I tell you that a couple weeks ago he groaned to me, "MOM! You can't expect me to take a bath every WEEK!")) seven-year-old boy bent over his work in quiet concentration. I was a bit panicked when I first saw his choices, but here's what he came up with, and the picture doesn't quite do it justice:
Not bad at all, eh? If he keeps it up, he'll make some young lady very happy one day ... once he decides that girls are no longer the scourge of the planet, which frustrates me to no end and for which I'm starting to blame his frequent reading of Calvin and Hobbes. :-(
Also, Eliza, my shy introvert who usually hides behind me if strangers try to address her, sidled up to a fifty-something woman doing some really cool technique at the table (did I say sidled? I meant snuggled) and engaged her in conversation for about ten minutes. "Mom, I made a new friend," she announced proudly at the end, and while this is child's play for her brother, I knew what an accomplishment this was for her, and I felt the glow of motherly pride on her behalf. It's interesting, she's done the same thing with a mom at Ian's taekwondo class who is always embroidering, and the mom has actually taught Eliza to embroider and brought her a couple samplers to work on! Eliza looks forward to seeing her twice a week and always has lots of questions for her about her work. As I've mentioned before, I'm either a slacker or just crippled when it comes to teaching such domestic arts, so I'm so thankful for the blessing of these other adults God has brought into her path.