Say NO to Thank You Notes

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Your house is a disaster. There’s cupcake icing on the door handles, wrapping paper shreds strewn across the living room, a sink full of dishes because even though it was a potluck, you overcooked, again; the once spotless floors are now covered in grass cuttings that came in attached to wee sets of feet running in and out of the house and a cluster of small, sugar-high children are all playing with the newest toys the birthday girl or boy just tore open.

Who attended this part-ay? Well, your child’s friends of course, but also your friends. Now tell me, would your friends, good friends anyway, really want to inflict more work on you than you already have laid out in front of you? She knows that after everyone leaves, you’ll continue to plug along, cleaning up all the mess, taking out the recycling and trash bags, washing dishes, vacuuming and chugging your now acceptable, after-party-beers, or wine, for you fancy folk.

That friend? She receives the small envelope you send out a few weeks later to say “thank you” for the gift that my darling offspring opened that fateful day. Yes, she opens it and reads it with good-ole fashioned friend loyalty and promptly throws it in the trash, but you know what? You could save that $100 stamp, some trees and the added pressure of writing out those notes by just saying NO to Thank You Cards.

Let me explain. I’m not advocating that we neglect teaching our children gratitude and thankfulness, however, when they are too young to write their own thank you’s, or too young to truly understand why they’re scribbling inside a card you shoved in front of them, then maybe it’s ok to give each other a little break.

I have begun writing inside the cards that accompany the gifts we give to friend’s children, ‘No Thank You Note Necessary/Expected.’ And you know what? Those moms are soooo grateful. Let’s be real here, WE, meaning MOMS, are the ones that ALWAYS do this. Eventually, I will expect my children to follow through with the task, you know, when they can read and write. But right now? Not only are we wasting money on stamps, we’re wasting each other’s time. I don’t have time as it is, and writing out “Thanks for the coloring book and markers! ‘So-and-so’ loves it!” is not how I truly want to say Thank You for being a great friend who cares enough to drag her own kids to my child’s parties. I would rather take you out for a drink. So, let’s all raise our glasses, and say NO to Thank You Notes. At least for now. It will be just a few short years before we can drink while commiserating about the whining our 8 year olds did when we asked them to sit down and write out their own fandangled Thank You cards.

Deal?

 

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{The original blog post was written by me, myself and I for my business page but since I believe it’s a great idea, I had to share it here too! Let me know what you think or if you need help putting together your very own Modern Art! I’m here to assist anyway I can. :)}

 

 

Expectations in Parenthood

We all have a picture in our heads of what parenthood will look like. For me it’s in short bursts of moments…moments where I do something special, or even something every-day-ordinary for my children, and they fall perfectly in line my imagination’s idea of their reactions, responses, and of course, their complete overwhelming love and gratitude for me, their wonderful, perfect mom. Yeah right….

My children go to bed around 7:30-8 pm so during the summer, that means the sun is still up. It saddened me that they were never up late enough to see the fireflies (or lightnin’-bugs for anyone who likes to speak in a Southern accent) because let’s face it, fireflies are magic. Some of my best summer memories involve catching fireflies and, with good intentions of making them my bffs and night-lights forever and ever, I of course subjected them to an entire evening of slavery in a jar with some pitiful pieces of grass while their hot and sexy lovers were out there, in the world, hopelessly blinking for them to join in the firefly-orgy-fun. Kids can really be cruel.

Anywho, an evening not too long ago, my kids took a very late nap. Like so late that I had to wake them up to eat dinner…yeah, it was one of those days. They had slept through the bulk of an afternoon picnic up the road at a friend’s house, who just so happens to have a stunning farmhouse on 23 beautiful acres here in Upper Bucks County, and to top it all off, a fantastic swimming pool. Long story short we showed up at the party as the sun was beginning its descent towards the horizon. Thankfully the hostess-with-the-mostess Miss Jenny was OK with our fashionably late arrival, and I’ll be honest, since we are all practically a bunch of albinos, I was OK with not having to dip the children and myself in sunscreen before jumping in the pool.

We swam and had some grub that was left from the bbq fest earlier in the day and meanwhile it got darker and darker outside. The fireflies started to emerge. It was magic hour. My 1 1/2 year old son, Greyson, started to wander through the yard (safe distance from the pool I might add) and I spotted my opportunity. The opportunity to share an incredible moment with my son. I was going to catch a firefly and show it to him, thereby filling his heart and mind with wonder and excitement and awe at this beautiful world. He would surely love me forever because of this exact moment. “He’ll remember this,” I told myself, “he’ll remember this the day he gets in his car and heads to college…how great his mom is…how amazing nature is…today I’ve earned a MOM-WIN!”

I ran like a 10-year old through the yard, squinting and watching, crouching and sneaking until I had one in my midst. I carefully cupped the little wonder in my hands and yelled for my little-guy, “Greyson! Co’mere buddy! I’ve got one!” He wobbled over. I opened up my hands just enough so he could see the little bug flash, once, then twice. I flattened out my palm so he could get a better look. This was it. This was the moment when he experiences his first firefly, and I was the one to show it to him. He reached out in amazement to sweetly touch our new little friend, and then BOOM! With one chubby little baby finger he squished it right there in my palm. Dead. As a doornail. Done. Moment over. Bye-bye bug.

Welp, friends, that ending wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I sighed, and then had to laugh, because you know what? They are all their own little people, with their own ideas and wishes, as poopy as we may think that is sometimes (yes, I said “poopy”). My expectations of this thing called parenthood are usually just figments of my imagination. The reality that Greyson gave me in that moment was the best memory I could have hoped for, because let’s face it, it was a MUCH funnier version than I had conjured up and just…….so…….Greyson (side note: we do not condone the mistreatment of defenseless creatures of nature…sheesh). And it was also another great reminder, to enjoy them as they are, without unnecessary expectations of how it should be or could be. That’s what he’ll remember about us when he’s grown: that we love him for who he is, just as he is.

So I guess the moral of the story is to not catch fireflies. Just let ’em keep-on-keepin’-on with their blinkin’ and procreatin’. And the next time you’re driving along on a warm summer evening and need to clean your windshield, inadvertently smearing the neon light of an unsuspecting firefly all the way across the glass, I want you to think of me. And parenthood. And love. And Windex.

I think my work here is done.

Until next time lovelies,

Sara

 

Ps. I hereby extend my sincere condolences to the lover(s) and family of the firefly that lost its life in this story. Sorry ’bout that little guy.

Hello! I’m so glad you’re here.

Welcome to Freckles + Wit! This is a safe space where I, Sara (HELLO!), plan to share lots of super awesome stuff with you. DIY projects around the house, motherhood & parenting goodies, lots of artsy projects and inspiration, and general life experiences as a 30-something-Mom/Wife/Artist/Small Biz Owner just trying to make it in the world. Will you join me on the adventure? I sure hope so. Otherwise, it would just be me, sittin’ here in my living room…..writing to myself. B-O-R-I-N-G. So come along with me! I promise to give you something worthwhile.

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