Packing with pom-poms

5 Dec

I’m in the middle of prepping for an across-town move. It’s our seventh home in six years of marriage, so I am pretty dang experienced when it comes to packing. However, this time around I have a little “helper” of the toddler variety.

Today as I was packing the dozenth (isn’t it wonderful to live in a world where dozenth is a word?) box of books, and Little L decided that his contribution would be to grab a fistful of pom-poms and pack them into the box.

pompomsMy first inclination was to get flustered and hastily transfer the pom-poms from the packing box to the toy box, because that is simply not the way one packs books, correct? My second inclination was to stop and recognize that there is really nothing wrong with packing with pom-poms. So the pom-poms stayed.

In fact, I relished the bright puffs of color set against the cardboard brown. It reminded me of one of my favorite childhood picture books, If You’re Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow (that’s an affiliate link). It’s full of whimsical illustrations and delightfully absurd-seeming aphorisms like “If tomorrow morning the sky falls, have clouds for breakfast” and “If it’s the last dance, dance backwards.” My less poetic addition: “If you’re trying to get something done with a toddler around, pack boxes with pom-poms.”

It occurred to me that in the year and half since this boy transferred from my womb to the world, nearly every minute of the day he finds ways to challenge how I want or expect things to be. (Surely anyone who is a parent–or really anyone who has opened their heart in raw, messy, vulnerable ways–can relate.) Sometimes I manage to be super zen and Elsa-like and let it go, and sometimes I feel chafed and bruised by the frustration and exhaustion of failing to find a happy medium. I feel and hope that through each challenge, I am coming closer to vague, elusive traits like grace, peace, and contentment–like when I can smile at my boy’s chubby, dimpled fingers stuffing pom-poms into a box.

P.S. This week I wrote a guest post for Feminist Mormon Housewives about President Eyring’s remarks on gender complementarity. Check it out!


One Response to “Packing with pom-poms”

  1. thelonekatie December 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    I wish I had your patience. So sweet! This morning I feel chafed and bruised by Thad and so far all we’ve done is had breakfast and gone to church. All I want for Christmas is patience!

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