Unrealized Good Intentions

Each year around this time my kids make “thankfulness” placemats for our Thanksgiving feast (as they call it). About 10 days ago I was inspired with a new idea (let this be a lesson to you…new is overrated) to have us do a family project. The idea was to make a Pinterest worthy (ahem!) featherless turkey. Then every night at dinner we would go around the table and write down one thing we are thankful for on these lovely feathers.

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After our collective outpouring of thankfulness, we would put the feathers from that day around the turkey. By Thanksgiving the turkey would look amazing in all its full feathered glory, beautifully reminding us of all we are thankful for

Except.

This is the Thanksgiving “thankfulness” turkey today,

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blank, undone, completely ignored, mocking my good intentions every time I walk by.

As it is wont to do, life happened, things got busy, demands were made, and time disappeared. My good intentions turned into sleep resisting thoughts to make it a priority tomorrow except tomorrow never seems to come, at least not in the way I meant it to.

What can happen with well-intentioned thankfulness turkeys can happen with reading out loud to the children. Much as I love books and reading, let’s be honest, reading with your children requires a surprising amount of effort. Oh sure, you have moments that would make LaVar Burton jealous. But the everyday-ness of it can, more often than not, produce moments to rival the scene from Alexander’s (of Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day fame) father’s office.

It can all just be a bit much: the fighting over which book to read, the fighting over who gets to pick which book to read, the fighting over who gets to sit closest to the book, the constant requests for being read to right as you are about to walk out the door, or take a shower, or cook, or help someone with their homework, or answer the phone. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there have been a few nights this fall when I have fallen asleep realizing I had not read  a single book to the kids all day. They had been read to, just not by me, leaving me with unrealized good intentions…again.

Turns out whether our unrealized good intentions involve Thanksgiving crafts or reading with the kids, we need goals and ideals but also the space and grace to fall short. I have no advice for crafting but for the reading, I will be taking advantage of a few extra days “off” to read to the kids more. Although likely at the cost of a few extra Thanksgiving dishes for the “feast.”

Tomorrow will come, even if not in the way we mean it.

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