We all learned a lot today during the Wax Museum held by the second graders at our town elementary school. Of course, the intention was for the students to do the learning – researching a person who has “changed the world.” As a Mom, I learned something today too, although the lesson was not exactly what I was expecting to take away from the day…
So, at this Wax Museum, you press a pretend button and watch the wax figure come to life [Hall of Presidents style (#boringDisney whatwhat?)] and listen to each child recite a few lines about his or her chosen individual. Neil Armstrong, Flo Jo, Jane Goodall, Wayne Gretzky, Larry Bird, Amelia Earhart—to name just a few. My personal favorite, but I am biased, was a freckle-faced Thomas Alva Edison. New Jersey in ‘da houz!!!!!
Today I really walked away with another lesson in motherhood. And how NOT to Mom. Or, to “reframe this narrative” (thank you, Forever 35 podcast) a little more positively– how to better use my energy as a mom.
In preparation for this project, I fell victim to the faulty belief that more is more. As Ryan and I were putting together his costume for Thomas Alva Edison (by the way, T.A.E. is a terrible choice for this assignment based on the “interesting costume” factor) I felt like Ryan’s needed a little something more for oomph besides the black bowtie. Well, in my literal-as-the-day-is-long mind, I really felt like the pièce de résistance would be a bald cap with white hair around the sides. Because that’s the hair that Thomas Edison has in this picture:
(Can we sidebar for a second here and talk about that very Helena Bonham Carter black rose-y lapel flower, though? Why didn’t I gravitate toward that?)
In true Procrasti-Katie form, I did not giving myself much time. (And notice I say giving MYSELF much time, because this was MY second grade project, right?) Amazon Prime could not help me locate a “balding cap with white hair” that could arrive on time, but a broader Google search did yield a match. Party City for the win! However, it was not available to be shipped, so instead I selected “In-volved Parent.”… I mean, “In-store pick-up.”
And, naturally, it was not in stock at any of the local Party City stores around me. SO THOMAS EDISON’S MOM DROVE LIKE A SHMUCKITY SHMUCK 30 MINUTES EACH WAY TO GET THE WHITE-HAIRED BALD CAP from Plaistow, New Hampshire!!!!
Mission accomplished. Feeling like an A+ Mom (…and, let’s face it, student) I returned home and proudly produced my wares after Ryan got home from school. When I say he was unphased, I mean, he was un. phased.
C’mon. Is this the best, or what?
This morning, as I walked into the classroom, who greeted me? My very lovable, front-tooth-missing, Thomas Alva Edison – and I’m sure you know where this is headed – he was NOT wearing the Plaistow-procured bald cap with white hair on the sides.
And you know what? He looked fine. Better than fine, he looked great! And he totally nailed it as Thomas Edison, without the stupid wig.
There was my lightbulb moment, friends. (See what I did there? Edison…improving the lightbulb….Anyone? Bueller?)
Back to the lessons: More isn’t always more. And my ideas aren’t always better.
From now on, I’ll put my energy to better use and try to strike a better balance between being involved but not too-too involved.
BLOG EPILOGUE… EPIBLOGUE?
I kid you not, it had not even been one hour after I wrote the first draft of this that Ryan came home with news from school that Read Across America Week was coming up. Each of the themed days (crazy socks, dress as what you want to be when you grow up, wacky Wednesday, favorite book character day) and I broke into a cold sweat. CRAZY Socks?!?!?! We don’t have crazy socks. Where can I buy crazy socks? Why didn’t I buy that ridiculous taco hat I saw at Party City!?! What book character is he going to go for…is he having more of a Hardy Boys Moment or will he go the Dog Man route, or…. wait..a..minute. This is it. Me. Doing it again.
Old dog. New tricks.
Though my kids aren’t old enough for this stuff yet, I could totally see myself falling prey to the same temptations. Great blog, Katie! I love reading them!
Yep. And as a teacher we can tell when the kids are invested. Ryan looks ADORABLE. And, Katie, by the time you were doing projects, your mother left Kevin and Colleen in charge 🙄😁😁
Oh, how I love this. It reads with just the right amount of hilarity and sarcasm to frame what is really just an incredible mama trying to get it right. I can just picture you careening down the highway -10 and 2 -with visions of that perfect bald cap adorning sweet Ryan’s head.😂 This just warms my heart and makes me thankful that guy is blessed with the kind of selfless-and however nutty-love every kid needs and deserves. To know you is to love you Mama Feeney!!
Love your posts- You nailed it again Katie! I think a lot of us moms fall victim to this pattern… the procrastination, the panic, the worry and then the guilt that we didn’t do enough. Wait, who’s project is it? 😉