Photo by Jordana Green
Cheez-Its, vitamin water and fruit roll ups—that was the fare provided at book club. Some of you may serve wine and gouda, but not at a third grade book club. At this gathering of eight-year-old girls, they actually discussed the book. It was adorable and amazing to see them analyze the 76 pages of Be A Perfect Person In Just Three Days! by Stephen Manes
Our fearless leader and fellow mom said she chose this book for a specific reason. The myth of perfection has haunted her throughout her whole life. She began the discussion with a story: At her wedding she wanted everything to be perfect. Before the ceremony, she noticed one of the floral arrangements was about half an inch off its mark near the wedding canopy. She asked her brother-in-law to fix it. As he began to move the massive arrangement, the bride watched in horror as it swayed, spun, and toppled crashing to the ground. The floor was a mess and the flowers were crushed. It was no longer perfect. The bride screamed for the florist, but then stopped. She took a deep breath and in a moment of clarity (and sanity) she realized weddings, marriages, and lives aren’t perfect. When she tried to make it perfect, she ended up with a mess. She told herself this was a good way to start off her and her husband’s new life together—knowing things could get messy and sometimes it’s ok if the flowers are a half-inch off their mark.
The girls and the other moms were glued to this story. In the children’s book, the main character Milo learns in the end that nobody is perfect, no matter how hard we try—a great lesson if you’re 8, 28, or 88.
This week I wish you the clarity to release whatever it is you are trying to make perfect so you can embrace the mess of life.