An Imperfect Mosaic and a Memory Made 4

I was given a mosaic stepping stone craft kit years ago as a child and it went in my bedroom closet where it sat.

And sat.

And sat.

I don’t remember who gave it to me (my sincere apologies if you read this and remember!).

I do remember that we talked about making them many times. My sister had one too. We pulled them out and looked at them.

We would definitely make them. Someday. It looked like fun.

And you can probably guess where this is going. Before the someday when I’d make my mosaic stone came the someday when I left home for college. And somehow a box filled with cement and mosaic stones didn’t make the cut for what got crammed into suitcases and piled into a dorm room.


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Honestly I had forgotten all about that craft kit until I came home to visit my family this past week and my mom mentioned it was still in the basement closet. I immediately thought, well, let’s do it this week. We’ll put Elizabeth’s toddler handprints in and let her design it. The stones will be randomly placed but it will be cute and a mosaic is supposed to be somewhat random anyway. Right?

So yesterday I ripped open the bag of mosaic stones and started mixing cement and wondered why on earth I ever thought this was a good project for an 18-month-old.


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But we did it anyway.

Because the convenient time to do messy projects with toddlers is, well, when they aren’t toddlers anymore.

It turned out she really only wanted to throw the stones across the table and hated having mud on her hands. If she keeps her current cleanliness obsession I’ll never have to get on her to clean her room, so I’m not complaining!

So our final stone was designed by Mommy and Grandma more than Elizabeth. But I’m still so glad we did it. It isn’t perfect. And it made a mess. But messes are temporary. And memories matter.

And if it’s worth doing today it’s worth risking imperfection.


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(This unedited picture makes it look way better than it does in real life. Don’t ask me how an iPhone 4 camera makes colors look better than they do in reality.)

Too often I use imperfection as an excuse to delay.

I can’t come up with the perfect words for that email so I just won’t write it now.

My decorations don’t all match so I’ll leave them piled in the closet until I have the budget/time/inspiration to do it right. I admit, I actually have a pile of picture frames (with pictures!) that have been sitting in my closet since we moved in a (month) year ago.

Someday we’ll hopefully have a real dining room with space to store all the china and crystal we got as wedding gifts. So we’ll use it then. Someday.

And it happens in parenting too.

We’ll go “owside” on a walk later when I’ve done my hair and look “presentable.”

We’ll do finger paint tomorrow when I psych myself up for making a mess.

But I’m not promised any laters or tomorrows. I’m given today. And when I accept that perfect moments almost never come and this imperfect one is good enough, I’m always glad I did.

I hope someday we’ll come back to visit Grandma and see our little mosaic in the yard. Elizabeth’s hands will be much bigger than the prints in the stone. We’ll marvel at how tiny they once were. And I’ll tell her that it’s worth it to treasure the little things and the imperfect moments.


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Because life is formed by a mosaic of the little things.

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4 thoughts on “An Imperfect Mosaic and a Memory Made

  • Kian

    I love this! I can definitely relate. I have shelves full of wonderful crafts and projects that I bought with the greatest of intentions. You are so right about the messes being temporary and the memories mattering! You’ve inspired me to dust off the soap making kit (I bought when Caroline was about 13) that is just sitting downstairs. I’m going to let Madeline enjoy creating wonderful smelling soaps… even if it makes the kitchen a disaster for a few hours. Thank you!

    • Joanna Walters Post author

      I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for sharing! You’ll have to post a picture of how the soaps turn out. :)

  • Ashley Holston

    So sweet and such a timely reminder for me!! I’m enjoying your posts! It almost makes me want to blog again. One day 😉 it does make me want to stop worrying about messes and such so much and just enjoy the time while N & B are little. :)

    • Joanna Walters Post author

      I didn’t know you used to blog. You’ll have to tell me about it! I’m finding that this is good motivation for me to write and I’m really enjoying it. Glad you’re enjoying the posts.