In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beautifully Imperfect

"There is a kind of beauty in imperfection."
~Conrad Hall, cinematographer

There a times when I can fool myself into believing that I am not a perfectionist.
And then Christa has a school project due--and the truth comes out.
This is why I often let my husband handle such assignments. It's not because I don't want to help Christa with her homework. It's that I don't want to make me and her crazy with my desire to ensure her project is just right.
Christa, bless her relaxed nine-year-old heart, is not a perfectionist. She wants to have--gasp!--fun putting together the covered wagon for her history project. It's not about designing the perfect model. It's about spending time with her dad and brainstorming what materials to use, how to talk him into to letting her use the glue gun, and trying again when the first set of wheels don't turn out.
So I grab my perfectionist-self by the collar and back away. I let them have fun. I admit to occasionally passing by the table with the project handout, reminding my husband and daughter of the due date and requirements.
And, yes, I am the one who discovered that there was a required oral presentation too. I made sure Christa practiced that part of the assignment, but I didn't insist on a say-it-until-it-is-word-perfect presentation.
Thinking Out Loud:If nothing else, motherhood has tempered my perfectionism. I've learned I'm not the perfect mom--and my kiddos still love me. My children aren't perfect--but they are mine and I am proud of them and I love them more and more each day.
I can choose perfection.
Or I can choose love and laughter in the midst of imperfection.
I've learned the value of love and laughter--and that there is beauty in imperfection.

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At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Martin said...

Well Beth, a big ditto for me too on this topic. For me it wasn't perfectionism - it was fear. I hope you don't mind the psychological viewpoint of my experience - but school was a very fearful experience for me and having both parents work meant I was often on my own to figure things out. I discovered that I was exerting a lot of "perfectionism" on my kids to get everything just right out of my own fear. This, I found out is called projection. Once this was brought into the light and God worked on calming me and nurturing me I was able to relax with my kids a WHOLE lot more and just simply be helpful if they wanted it. Do you relate fear with perfectionism? Thanks for the blog.


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