I am sure that many of you can relate to this; you get a call or email from someone asking if you can help out with something at church, school, scouts, on and on and you of course say "yes". You don't think about what else is going on, or when exactly you will find the time to do this, it is just an instinct. We feel guilty if we don't. We just brew ANOTHER pot of coffee and plow through the night.
Last night was one of those for me. I volunteered to help at my children's school with an event called "Market Place 29 A.D.". I had checked off one of the boxes on the take home form that I could help with sewing. I also checked off that I wouldn't mind helping at the actual event. Did I call anyone to see what that would entail? No. I just checked boxes and thought of what a great helper I was.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. The Market Place event is totally out of my mind. I know of no such thing, I get a call. It is one of the other moms. She has fabric and a pattern for me to make scarves for the kiddos. "Oh, yeah", I say. Mind reeling, trying to remember if there where any exact details on the sign up sheet. There were not, of course. Teachers are smart. They know that less details=more volunteers.
I am told that the project is due next Friday. She apologizes that she did not call me sooner, she lost my number. My mind is racing. It IS Easter Week, but I can squeeze it in. (This was Thursday). I let her know that I would be at home the next couple of day with the kids, who were on Easter break. The days pass. She does not show. I start to hope in the far recesses of my mind (the place where you think things you don't like to admit out loud) that she has forgotten, and then felt guilty and finished everything up.
On Tuesday my neighbor, who is better than any ADT system, lets me know that a woman stopped by while I was gone. There was no call or anything left, so I was hoping that it was a vacuum or knife salesperson. But oh, I knew. Another day goes by. The guilt is gnawing at me pretty constant now. Did she really do all of them? Was that her that stopped by?
I sent my daughter to her house to ask for the fabric. My daughter reported back that yes, that was her that stopped by. Ugh. Of course it was. She hands me a sack. A grocery sack FULL of torn sheets. Huh? She informs me that I am making around 100 scarves for the kids, every third and fourth grader, to wear on Market Place Day to help shield their faces from the sand that would have been in the marketplace in 29 A.D.
Do you think that I started it On Tuesday when I got it? No. That would be realistic. I looked at the sack a few times while watching " The Other Guys" on Netflix. I thought of it while I did dishes. I moved the bag to my craft room before I went to bed. but this was all of the contact I had with the sack full of linen.
Wednesday my son comes home. He has a leather-esque looking booklet with a foreign coin attached. "This is for you mom", he tells me as I am slaving over a hot toaster making all the kids an after school snack of pretzel bread toast. Yum. I glance at it. I choose to ignore it for a bit. Maybe it is not related to Market Place I lie to myself. I cant ignore it anymore. I open it. BAM.
Inside I find my: Day's agenda (this is when I find out I am volunteering form 8:00 until 3:00), my assignment of making leather-like books with all of the kids at a work station, a note that there is a meeting Thursday at 6:00 where I need to bring the completed scarves (what happened to Friday?!?), and a bazillion name tags for all of the kids.
Now I am getting nervous. I know I need to start the scarves. Why have I put it off? "I will start now" I tell myself. But, I had already promised I would throw the Frisbee around for a bit at the park. Joseph has baseball practice, Mason has youth group, and Claire wants to have some mommy time.
Fast forward a few hours. It is now 10:00. I am feeling queasy from procrastination. I could feign being sick and send the scarves to school with Joe, I could get out my liquid stitch and just glue hems in all of this fabric, I could get started.
I send Joe to the store to get me some heavy whipping cream. I need coffee. And cream. This is going to be an all-nighter. I can feel it. I dump the bag of cloth on the floor in the craft room., put on my ear phones, and shut the door.
Then I sit down at my treadle. Oh, did I forget to mention I do not have an electric sewing machine? Yes, These would ALL be done by hand, er, foot.
I start. They all need trimmed and hemmed on three sides. I finish one and want to cry. It took me almost 10 minutes. With ironing and pinning this was going to take forever. I decide to sew by the seat of my pants. I eyeball hem measurements and cut like a mad person. They are coming along more quickly. They don't look perfect, but they will do. I grab my fourth cup of coffee. I am singing along to Muse, moving my feet, feeling pretty awesome. All of a sudden it is 5:00 A.M.
I am done, and want to crawl into the closet and sleep for a few days. Everyone will be getting up soon, and I know that I won't be able to sleep through all the noise, so I decide to make breakfast. Coffee cake sounds good, so I look up a recipe to try.I have never made it, but now on my sixth cup of caffeine induced stupor, I know I can accomplish anything. I find this great recipe on allrecipes.com and it turns out great.
Everyone wakes up, gets ready, enjoys breakfast, and is out the door.
I grab ANOTHER cup of coffee, a plate full of coffee cake I swore I would only taste, and brace myself for a l-o-n-g day.
My youngest kisses me good-bye and tells me, "I am the best momma and make the best everything!". That makes never saying no worth it :).