I don’t know about you but I tend to get hung up on ‘the details’ from time to time. I put things off because I do not have all the loose ends tied up. Inevitably, things are left undone, and occassionally my half done project never gets finished.
This year in science we are studying geology. A few weeks ago we began a study on volcanoes. I was pumped up, this was going to be one of the highlights of our year! Oh the memories we were going to make! Making the dough, forming the volcanoes, painting them, labeling the parts, and then, making them ‘erupt’!!! Oh the smiles, discoveries, and fun we were going to have!!!
It was Sunday night, I had finished looking down my checklist, & I had layed out all the supplies. Here is how it was going to go: Monday – form volcanoes (dry overnight), Tuesday – paint volcanoes (dry overnight), Wednesday – label the parts, Thursday – review, Friday – erupt the volcanoes!!! I went to bed with eager anticipation of what this week would behold!
Finally, it was here! It was Monday morning! My kids were sitting at the school table, curious about the supplies on the table. As I was getting dressed I could here the excitement building as they began guessing what the supplies were for. As planned we mixed our ingredients, made dough, formed our volcanoes, and put them aside to dry. Right on schedule – just the way I like it!
Tuesday morning all of the painting supplies were on the table ready to go. The kids were excited to paint their volcanoes. I checked the volcanoes and noticed that they were not all the way dry. Upon further inspection, it seemed that the top surface was dry enough to paint,allowing us to stay on schedule one more day! Afterall, we still had a few days before we had to erupt the volcanoes, plenty of time to dry.
Wednesday morning we were labeling away… still not all dry…
Thursday we reviewed… still not dry…
Friday …still not dry… I looked in the book for a backup plan and it had a brilliant idea – test tubes! Yes test tubes! You simply place the test tube into the openning of the volcano put baking soda into the test tube and then when you are ready add vinegar! SOLUTION! I am all about problem solving and with things I already have too! We had just recently moved and I was frantically searching for the container that had the test tubes in it. After a quick look, I could not find them. I decided we’d just have to wait until I could have a chance to find them… afterall it was the weekend and I would surely have time.
Saturday, I looked and looked through those containers.
Sunday, I searched more containers.
Monday I decided I better buy some or we will never get it done.
Tuesday, I thought about ordering them online.
Wednesday & Thursday I forgot about it.
Friday, I ran through my ‘to do’ list… “test tubes, I have to get test tubes!”
The weekend was a blur.
Sunday night I was busy preparing supplies for the week.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I became increasingly stressed about the test tubes & finishing the volcanoes.
Thursday the very sight of the volcanoes started to annoy me.
Friday, at 3am, I lay in bed wide awake thinking about those volcanoes… inevitably guilt crept into my mind. My thoughts went something like this “Maybe we don’t have to erupt them.” “Maybe I could just throw them away and they won’t even notice. We’ve already erupted volcanoes in years past, we will most likely be doing this a few more times before they graduate anyways. It’s not that big of a deal.” I rolled over in bed. “BUT we have already done everything else!” I thought “How can we possibly make volcanoes and not erupt them. That is just craziness. Just do it girl! I have got to make this work! What do I have that would work?” Suddenly, before I even realized what I was doing, I was out of bed & in the garage. I grabbed the bin of craft supplies – I found two cylinders of tiny beads – PERFECT! I emptied the beads into baggies and ran to the kitchen. I put the volcanoes on the table and pushed the cylinders into place.
That morning the kids were so excited, it was finally here, eruption day! The baking soda went in, the vinegar followed, and we had one eruption after the other for a good part of the morning! The kids had such a great time! We eventually had lego men climbing up our volcanos and being blasted out of them. Memories?… yes, we will definitely remember that one as one of the really fun things we got to do! And to think I almost threw them away…
Lesson learned: Don’t give up when things aren’t perfect, instead, think of it as a chance to be creative! I could have saved myself a lot of stress had I just been okay with things not being perfect and been creative from the start. Next time, I hope to remember this lesson readily.