Winnie the Pooh movie night.
One of my obstacles in life is that I have always been something of a perfectionist.
I don't say this to try and give myself a back-handed compliment, like the way you would answer a question about your greatest weakness in a job interview by actually talking about a disguised strength instead.
Yes, being a perfectionist means that if I do something I will always give it my very best, but it also means that sometimes I get bogged down in unimportant details, like when I spend more time making sure my blog posts have the correct punctuation than I do in actually getting my thoughts written down.
And sometimes it means I don't do the things I want to do at all because I know I can't do them "pefectly."
Take, for example, family movie night. A couple of years ago, there were a lot of movie night ideas floating around the blogosphere; elaborate events complete with themed props and treats. They were so creative and adorable (check out Heather's and Maegan's ideas here and here, for example) that I couldn't wait to have our own amazingly fabulous movie night. The thing is, I just never could find the time to make those spaghetti and meatball cupcakes so we could watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
And so months went by as I waited for the weekend when I would finally have time to plan the "perfect" movie night. And then one Friday night we ordered pizza, popped some popcorn, rolled out the sleeping bags, and just watched a movie. Without a coordinating craft. Or a fancy treat.
Now our simple Friday night movie nights have become something of a tradition. And lately I have noticed Ella's excitement building throughout the week ("Mom, today is Wednesday... we are getting close to movie night!"). Now that she's been in school for a couple of months and is busy with activities, these Friday nights to relax and spend time with her family mean so much to her. And to be honest, I look forward to that time just as much as she does.
All of this got me to thinking: what if I had kept waiting to make those cupcakes and we never got around to having movie night at all? It made me sad to think I might have missed out on seeing my three girls lined up in a row in their sleeping bags every Friday night.
Mostly, it was a reminder to me that as parents it's okay to lower the bar sometimes. We are all trying to do the very best for our children, but that doesn't mean we have to be the best at everything. I admire my amazingly creative mom friends, but as long as I have a child who likes to pick food out of the garbage can and eat it (I'll let you guess who), anything more complicated than popping some popcorn just isn't in the cards for me.
Thankfully, my kids seem to be okay with that. And surprisingly, I'm okay with it too.