My daughter's preschool was having a special week to celebrate her lovely self, known to all as "Blossom of the Week." My part as a parent, aside from being very proud, was to make a blossom poster to be displayed during the two days of preschool. If desired, I could also contribute a blossom treat.

The requirements were very simple and did not mandate poster and treat being color-coordinated. I was elated. My daughter and I made plans to create this fabulous poster on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday afternoon, I promptly felt ill immediately after church and slept for the entire afternoon. Monday was a blur and, lo and behold, it was Tuesday morning. The best part was that 15 minutes before the carpool arrived, my daughter asked sweetly, "Where's the blossom poster, Mommy?"

If you have a sweet preschool daughter, with eyelashes like a Cindy-Lou-Who, you will know exactly how I felt at that moment— World's Largest Heel of a Mother. I had completely forgotten the entire assignment. (Should someone ground me?) Flying into action I grabbed the last bit of poster board in the house (black), foraged for scrapbooking stickers (thank goodness I had procrastinated making my new goal board), and directed my other daughter like a traffic cop, "scissors, 4 o'clock; gluestick, Mom's office."

I offered a momentary prayer of thanks that during the Christmas holidays when I sat on the couch like a gestating turkey, I had actually spent one hour organizing my craft table. Using precut photo papers we arranged them like petals around my homemade stem and leaves. We finished it up with stickers and colored clothes pins to hang it. A total of 14 minutes and the doorbell rang. I rushed to my carpool friend in excitement, "What do you think?" She seemed to stare in amazement, or was that shock, but said nothing and took my daughter to the car.

I'm not kidding—for the next 15 minutes I obsessed about that blossom poster. Did I do it wrong? Was there an instruction that I didn't read (again)? Was it supposed to be fancier, better, more pink? Why didn't my friend say anything? I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, wondering if I had ultimately embarrassed my daughter in front of all her 4-year-old friends.

The phone rang and it was my daughter's preschool teacher. The pit feeling sank lower. She said, "I just have to tell you, that has to be the cutest poster ever!" A new day had dawned. I hung up the phone feeling the zenith of joy — she liked our poster, she really liked it! What rapture, I was a successful mother. She had even called me "artsy" — this was a day to record.

Now, if you are reading this account and wondering what the point may be, let me no longer sport with your intelligence. Can you BELIEVE that I, a mother of six and 42 years old, actually spent 15 minutes WORRIED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT OF MY DAUGHTER'S BLOSSOM POSTER?? Have I not grown at all? Do I not teach principles that help women not do the very thing I just did? I truly began to wonder if one part of me will be forever stuck in seventh grade.

The beautiful thing that I learned, after much laughter, was this: Ladies, GIVE IT UP. We do not have to worry over how our posters look, the cupcakes turn out or the lack of coordination in our living room decor. What mattered most in that entire encounter is that a) I did not get angry about forgetting the poster, b) I did not yell at my children, and c) even when the clock was ticking, I consciously allowed both daughters to help make the poster.

In a moment of irony, my daughter looked up at me today and said sweetly, "Do we have our blossom treat, Mommy?" Having completely forgotten, I simply laughed, pulled out the pumpkin bread mix and 15 minutes later, voila, cupcakes, with no icing. That's as good as it's gonna get.

LIFETip: When completing something non-vital, focus on the experience, not the look!

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