Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Plain Paper Crane...or Two

One of the beautiful and yet heartbreaking things about having young children is that they think that Mom and Dad can do anything. The bubble about knowing everything, however has long been burst. My oldest 2 kids will ask me a question and when I don't say "I don't know" because sometimes I don't know, and actually give them an answer they usually contradict me and give their own answer. Or they'll say "No, Mrs. M said that (insert answer here) is why." To which I wonder why they asked me anyway since clearly I am stupid and know nothing. I honestly thought I had at least until M was 10 or 12 before I was tossed aside as an authority on anything.

Things have been different with regard to doing everything. Even Miss M at nearly 7 years old still believes, for the most part, that Mom and Dad can fix things, and we can make things. I'll admit the fix things ability belief causes more than a few toys to be destroyed around here, especially when K Man is involved. He's a tinkerer, like a male Tinkerbelle, he's interested in how things work and how he can make something new. It often results in destruction, innocent destruction because he's intent that he'll make something new. I blame my father. He's a fixer, a tinkerer. K Man has Boppa's blood for sure.

The belief that us parents can make things came back to bite, first me, then Craig in our respective behinds last week. K Man received what is actually his penultimate book from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. I did not read the book, but Craig read the book to the kids. It obviously left quite an impression because both kids were still talking about it the next morning as we took M to school. They chattered about the bird, the paper crane named Menu. They discussed how I would make them paper cranes.

No, no, no. I do not know how to make a paper crane. I was determined to snuff out this pipe dream instantly. I do not know origami. There was no way in Hell that I would be able to fake that I did.

Oh there are directions in the book Mommy!

Of course there are! How kind of the author! She must hate parents!

The excuse of not knowing was no longer valid. I had directions. K talked me into making him a crane as soon as we arrived back home after dropping M off at school.

I chose a large 12 x 12 paper from my scrapping supply. K held the book. At first. I started confidently, then my confidence waned, then fizzled. The wordless photo instructions were not that intuitive. Or I'm an idiot. It could be either, or both. I continued to fold. I tried and tried again. I vowed Craig would be making the next paper crane for M.

By step 6 or 7 out of 20 K was no longer holding the book. He wandered away as I continued to slave. It had, by then, become a challenge. I could conquer this paper. I graduated from my university summa cum laude. Paper folding has nothing on me!
Oh Friends. I am not a paper artist apparently. I make cards, but that does not an origami artist make. But I endeavored to create this paper bird that my son was no longer interested in having, or seeing me create. But I am a Taurus, and stubborn to the end. I would make a paper crane.

And I did. I folded and folded and re-folded and eventually ended up with something that sort of resembled a crane. It was not quite right and not quite wrong. My son was thrilled. His faith that Mommy hangs the moon was intact.

After school, Miss M was peeved that I had not made her a crane too. Oh no, I said, Daddy wants to make one for you. See? I love my husband and I really think he should participate fully in these types of family activities. I didn't want him to miss out on the fun.

Craig arrived home and Miss M asked him to make her a crane 4287 times in about 20 minutes. After we ate supper, Craig sat down with the fresh piece of scrapbook paper to fold Miss M her crane.

He began with confidence. He folded and folded. Then the folding slowed. Miss M began watching contentedly, excitedly, but then she asked for release. It was painful. She wanted to avoid witnessing the fall of her idol.
Because I was laughing at Craig's pain, he needed to scratch his head a lot. Apparently he uses his middle finger to scratch his head.

I let all squirm for a while, then I took over. My second crane was nearly as painful to fold, and turned out only slightly better.

I still find it fantastic that my children think their parents can do so much right even as we do so much wrong. We continue to try to make our lives better, more full of love. And the evidence of our trials can be seen in an awkwardly folded paper crane.

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Anonymous said...

"I still find it fantastic that my children think their parents can do so much right even as we do so much wrong."


My son brought home a wooden bird house kit once. I am NOT handy with tools, unfortunately. But we got it done. And he was happy with the results.

Fortunately, I have a sister who is a manager for Lowe's. We take them there on weekends so they can pound all they want to . . .

for a different kind of girl said...

Truly, God bless you! Anything that has more than 5 steps to follow to get to the finish product makes me break out in hives. Heck, even 5 is pushing it for me! Directions and I have never been close friends and, sadly, I've been known to toss them across the room more often than I've actually followed them and given up!

Madeline said...

Oh, you have some patience! Origami is enough to make a girl go crazy. Although, I have a friend who got hooked on folding those paper cranes in college. She must have folded thousands by the end of it all.

slouchy said...

i love this post.

Marla said...

So first of all, just so you no the male tinkerbell is actually STINKERBELL and sadly enough during some times in college, that I like to call HIGH NOON I used to fold about ten cranes an hour during that magical hour....ask me to do it today and you might get the triangle foot ball or the fortune thingy from highschool... if your lucky

Marla said...

that first no should be KNOW...yeah I am so cool

mayberry said...

Be happy the book wasn't "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes."


(Actually, it's a beautiful book and this was a lovely post. I'm just glad you don't have to make 998 more cranes.)

Guinevere Meadow said...

"Apparently he uses his middle finger to scratch his head."


I would have done the same thing to my husband!

Beck said...

What a lovely post!
I can't do origami to save my life, but I have a weirdly crafty husband. He can do my share.

chelle said...

HAHAHA I love that you roped Craig into it!

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

"I didn't want him to miss out on the fun." LOL.

Yeah, origami is evil, there's just no two ways about it. My sister can fold just about anything you ever dream of. I can make paper airplanes that don't fly. So my hat goes off to you for making the effort at all!

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