Monday, December 10, 2007

The never-ending birthday card

I’m starting to think maybe I’m pushing Ladybug a little too much on the family. She’s on our Christmas cards we send out, she’s the star of a calendar we make for the grandparents, she leaves phone “messages” and “signs” birthday cards for family members. Her woven image even adorns pillows and blankets and canvas bags that we’ve given as gifts. The way I see it, what better way to mark a special occasion than with Ladybug? But I’m her mother, and you know what they say about love being blind.

But as we are now facing six birthdays in a six-week span – some belonging to family members who only know Ladybug through photos or a one-time visit – I wonder if it’s not Ladybug overload. Or maybe it’s just that I’m burned out making all these keepsakes.

For the last week, Ladybug has been working on birthday cards for my dad and grandfather. She has covered them in stickers, then painstakingly removed every one of them. She empties her crayons on her tray and rubs her hands over the pile as if trying to find inspiration, then abandons them for her dollhouse. She’ll stamp a few images but then become more intrigued with the ink pad and smearing her stained fingers on her clothes and face.

With my relatives’ birthdays now just a few days off, I have to mail the cards soon. I tried one last attempt this morning but abandoned the effort when Ladybug decided to stamp the leather sofa instead of the cards. So the cards are going as is, half done and crumpled.

There’s charm enough in that, but next time I think we’ll opt for Hallmark.


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