Look What I Can(‘t) Do

Mar 2 2011

My life is a lot easier when I remember which things I do well, and admit where I need help.

Recently, I made an awesome, fabulous trade that saved me hours and hours of time.

Abby had an important event at school.  A really cool event, actually.  Each middle school student picked a notable historical character to research as a cross-curricular project.  There were language arts, science, and social studies components.  The project culminated yesterday evening in a “Night of the Notables” event where we parents got to meet the costumed characters in person and learn about their contributions to our world.

Abby was Maria Mitchell, American astronomer who discovered Miss Mitchell’s comet.  I am all for my daughter studying strong, smart, driven women.  Woohoo!  And I’m not a bit embarrassed that I’d never heard of Miss Mitchell before this project.  Nope, not a bit.

Unfortunately, I’m grossly underqualified to costume my child as a scientist from the 1800’s.  Oh, I could’ve thrown something together.  Could’ve gone to thrift stores to do Dreaded Shopping.  Could’ve gone through my clothes (some of which I feel are hundreds of years old), the dress-up clothes (mostly pink wigs and butterfly costumes), and our giveaway clothes looking for something suitable.  I could’ve done research online.

But I’m really patting myself on the back for this one, ’cause instead of all that, I traded labor.

Best. Thing. Ever.

See, I can do hair.  It’s probably one of those cocky or confident things, to be perfectly honest.  I probably couldn’t always do hair… I just thought I could.  But enough people believed me and let me practice that I became pretty OK at it.  Here’s a shout-out to all those guinea pigs out there for letting me play!

I have two theatre-type friends.  They have a costume closet in their house and access to theatre and costuming supplies elsewhere.

They also have a daughter who needed her hair done for a dance.

Look what I can do!  (Are ya Mad TV feelin’ me, here?  I’m doing the Look What I Can Do dance.)

I can take hair like this…

….and turn it into hair like this:

And then I can shellac it with bright, sparkly hair spray (by making the child bow before me, which I bet they don’t allow in beauty school):

In return, my theatrey friends took all of my costuming woes away and turned my lovely daughter into this notable creature.

Look what I can’t do!

Isn’t she pretty?

Like a comet burning bright.

I’m so proud of her.

I have to say, though, that the best moment of the evening came from one of Abby’s friends who was wearing a gorgeous Victorian-style dress with a hoop skirt and a bustle.

She walked by me and muttered:  “My butt is enormous.  It’s exhausting.”

And I did not say to the 12-year-old:  “Oh, honey.  I totally know what you mean.  Tell me about it.”

Look what I can do!  I can keep my mouth shut!

Hey – sometimes you have to give yourself credit for the little things.