It Doesn't Have to be Perfect...

I've always been a perfectionist of sorts.  It's that first-born, always-wanting-to-please-your-parents kind of thing.  Sure, there are aspects of my life when my perfectionist ways fall short, or are of less importance.  But there are also times I'll pour my heart and soul into something until it is absolutely {in my eyes} perfect.

But things don't always have to be perfect.  And that can be hard concept for me to grasp. 

Last night, I made birthday cupcakes for Brantley to take to daycare.  From scratch, of course.  (See?  Perfect.)  My plans were to decorate the cupcakes as Elmo.  I saw the idea on Pinterest {months ago}, and though Brantley likes balls and even Mickey Mouse far more than Elmo these days, the idea was too cute to pass up!

Around 6:30, I started the cupcakes.  Around 7:30, I made buttercream frosting.  I added an entire bottle of red food coloring liquid.  The result?  Pink frosting.  Well since Elmo is nowhere near pink, I packed up the babe and headed to Michael's.  (Brantley was with Craig on a run.)  I bought a jar of red gel (which is what I typically use, but just so happened to be out of red...every darn holiday uses red it seems!) and headed back home.  After adding nearly half the jar, and still having pink frosting, I googled "How to make deep red frosting."  As instructed, I added some cocoa (still not a deep shade of red), and then some black coloring gel.  BIG mistake.  I now had maroon frosting.  Frantically I tried adding more red gel.  In fact, I added the remainder of the 1-ounce jar.  It didn't matter.  It didn't help.  I was stuck with maroon frosting.

Part of me debated starting over.  That would mean going back to Michael's, and I still had thirty minutes before they closed.  But that also meant a trip to Target for more butter and powdered sugar.  And significantly more time in the kitchen.  It was already 8:30 and I was exhausted.  All I wanted to do was finish these darn cupcakes and sit down to relax.

In the end, I decided to use the frosting I had and send twelve maroon Elmos to daycare.  But let me tell you - it was so hard for me to come to terms with that.  Why??  Who cares if they were maroon?  Brantley didn't.  He quickly identified Elmo in spite of his maroon fur.  And the daycare kids sure wouldn't.  I'm pretty certain they would have gobbled up the cupcakes had Elmo been red, maroon, or lime green for that matter.

So why in the world was I so bummed about this failed attempt at red Elmo cupcakes?  For a boy who isn't even quite two and will never, ever remember this anyway!?

My perfectionist self is in part to blame.  But I also blame the world of Pinterest, blogs, and other forms of social media.

Do I feel bad about the cupcakes that didn't turn out perfectly?  You bet!

On a related note, do I feel guilty for not throwing him an over-the-top, themed, Pinterest-worthy party for Brantley's second birthday?  Heck yes, I do!  But why?  I never had such a party growing up.  Yet I have such fond memories of my birthday parties through the years.

In this day and age, it's easy to forget what really matters.  That we're providing our children with everything they need - a home, clothing, food, and above everything else, love.  Brantley loves me more than any cake I bake and any party I throw.  He loves me because I am, and will always be, there for him.  He doesn't care if I'm perfect.  Because in his eyes, I am.

So what did I do to make myself feel better?  Head to Pinterest, of course.  Funny how the same place that makes us strive for perfection can also give us encouragement and inspiration.  Here is what I found.

Don't these speak the truth?  Unfortunately (or fortunately?), there will be no favors, no decor, and no chevron-striped drinking straws in mason jars at Brantley's upcoming second birthday party.  (No red Elmos either.)  Just your old-fashioned, family-oriented party with cake, ice cream, and lots of fun.  I'm sure I will be back to my perfection-striving, party-planning ways in the years to come.  Because after all, I truly do enjoy it.  But for now, I must say, it feels good.  It feels good to enjoy *perfection* without lifting a DIYing finger.

1 comment:

  1. Good sayings, but I actually think they turned out AWESOME! I'm sure they were DEVOURED!