The release of creation

As my daughter gets closer to becoming two, I’ve begun taking down the decorations I chose to decorate her nursery. She’s no longer a baby. She’s finally a walking toddler; a girl who will attend daycare in the fall. The idea of her experiencing life without me to protect her is coming to fruition fast. Too soon. But, I decided to take down her mobile, leaving a gaping space above her crib that needs to be filled.

Originally, her nursery was all vintage Mother Goose. Pictures from old books framed, a banner with images from different rhymes. Even two old cardboard cut outs of Jack and Jill that were in my father’s nursery. The mobile, made by my sister, had the characters from “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon.”

To fill the space, I bought fiberboard letters of her initials. They are big and bold, and I wanted to decorate them in a way that acknowledged this next step in her existence. I got a book of whimsical paper to choose from with flowers, chevrons, and birds. The colors multi, including pink, turquoise, and yellow. All to represent her blossoming personality.

I laid the letters on the paper and traced the edges and curves with a sharp craft knife. I used Mod Podge to glue the paper to the letters, but bumps appeared. I didn’t line it quite right, and when I tried to realign, the paper ripped. Never mind the fact that the paper wasn’t the height of the letters, a detail I should have checked in the store, leading me to have to try to match up the design. But, I can be impatient, and I tried to wing it, and told myself it wouldn’t bother me if it wasn’t just right. At the end of the experiment, I ripped off all the paper, leaving traces of white and glue.

My next experiment involved Washi tape, a product I wasn’t familiar with, but it seemed easy enough. I used different colors in a striped pattern, then ran the craft knife around the edges to trim the fat. But when I turned the J over, I saw the knife had dragged the tape, making it wrinkle. The next day, it had all begun to peel. That was the end of that.

The letters, still spotted with pieces of paper and glue, are sitting next to my computer. Should I throw them away and start over? Maybe buy letters already decorated? I can’t help but think I need to push myself, keep trying, and see it to the end.

Every time I walk into Justa’s room, I see the blank wall above her crib and know something needs to go there. Maybe this is my way of coming to terms with the realization that she’s becoming her own person. When she begins daycare, I won’t be there to hug her if another child pushes her or takes her toy. If she gets scared or is having a hard time taking a nap, I won’t be there to soothe her. I’m relinquishing control.

I trust the teachers at the school, but I don’t feel ready. Perhaps these letters are my way of letting go. I can continue to list the what-ifs, or I can finish this project. I will probably do both. What creative ways do you handle trying circumstances?