Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Essential life skills

Yesterday afternoon, I was reading about 10 essential life skills. I made a silent oath that I would try to incorporate these into my life, but when I did, I was not counting on the dreaded question, "Mom, do we have.... (fill in the blank)?" Because when the initial greeting is asking if we have something, generally there is little chance that we do have it or else the question would not be asked, right?

So as Annabel got into the car yesterday, she asked if we had any black yarn.

I am not a craftsy, creative type of person, and while I do have some craft supplies, it is a rather limited amount of anything that is not paper or paint and I think I have only ever bought one skein of yarn and would be hard pressed to know where it was at this point, since I bought it long before I adopted Grace, which was more than 6 years ago.

Black yarn?

For what?

Seems they were making a movie trailer for their Information Technology class and she was supposed to play a king.

This is why I love this school because the very idea of making a movie trailer when you are in 7th grade is pretty amazing to me and then when they cross teach it with their language arts class it is especially awesome. But when your student remembers on the way home, miles from the closest Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Jo Ann's that she needs black yarn, oh and a crown, and a moustache, then you kind of wish they were going to a school that did not expect as much.

Anyway, I have failed to mention that the girls are now taking guitar lessons, which either my east Texas roots are showing or my time in west Texas is shining through, and I pronounce it as Gi Tar.

So their GiTar lessons are FREE, my favorite cost, and more about them later, but they put us in an area that was the shopping mecca of the neighborhood when I was growing up. Now my choice of places to shop are primarily pawn shops with a few dollar stores sprinkled in.

We crossed the street to the dollar store with hopes that they would have something, anything that could become a beard.

Creativity is one of the essential life skills and I was trying to make it work, only that dollar store was creepy and was selling way more incense than could ever be burned in all the temples in China, and the lights cast an eerie glow that made you almost sure that this very store could be the backdrop for some B rated horror movie.

We quickly left there and proceeded to our "usual" dollar store where I tried to concentrate, another one of those essential life skills, on the task at hand and increase my creativity to find some object, that with minimal adjustments, could become a black beard.

Someone suggested after the fact that we could have used cotton balls. I have to say, never even thought of that, because her vision of this king resembled Abraham Lincoln, so I was looking for something with black fur.

The only trouble was though, I could not take a step without both girls being right on my heels, so if I stopped, it was like a bad cartoon, with them running into me.

I urged them to spread out so we could look throughout the store faster and get home.

Before I could look up they were back directly behind me and stepping on my shoes and if I stopped, bumping into me.

After trying to come up with a means of turning a black washcloth, a fake hair doo dad, a pair of black socks, striking out on finding black contact paper, no Santa Claus outfits with beards, only a dog costume, and not even a good Halloween costume left in the clearance bin, we left with only a roll of black electrical tape.

I managed to design a crown out of poster board but when I tried to embellish it, again we came up short on our craft supplies, and I could not find any jewels or glitter to bedazzle the crown! So I opted for painting the whole thing gold and hoping the others in her group might be overwhelmed by its beauty! It actually looked like someone who was younger than 2 had made it, but at least it was done and Annabel was able to get her homework done.

Oh but wait, I still had to figure out a beard.

I got a skinny headband as a way to hold something around her and started putting on tape. The problem with electrical tape is it curls and after several adjustments, made something that might pass as a beard.

On the list of essential life skills that had really struck home with me was undivided attention. With technology so easily accessible, it's hard sometimes not to multi task, even while talking to your children.

I know that Annabel's crown and beard did not measure up creatively, but I did feel from her that by my doing this work for her counted a lot more than the end product, and I gave her my undivided attention in trying to help her achieve her goals and her needs for the day.

Like I have said before, unqualified, but still showing up!  

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