Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tie-Dye Kindness Banner

Here's something we did this Summer.

You should consider doing it, too, especially if you have small children. Or an unruly husband.

But do it before the first frost.


What is that lovely banner hanging o'er the Legos? Is it a rainbow? Is it magic?

You're all right. It's a magical, rainbow banner.

It's magical because 1) it's easy 2) it's cheap 3) there are several steps, all of which fascinate the small fries.

It's rainbow because, well, it's rainbow.

Here's how to do it:


Grab some white coffee filters and a handful of washable markers.

Sit down on a dreary day with every rascally child and color them up. There's no wrong way. Just be sure to use several colors on each filter.

Walk away, get on with life. You just occupied your kids for over 30 minutes! Reward yourself with some salsa.


The next time things get a little hairy in your hood, take your colored filters outside and string them up.

Maybe use an extra pin on the bottom if it's breezy.


Admire the utilitarian charm of the humble clothes pin.


Vow not to let these pretty pins decay to drift-wood on the line.


Great Scotts! (as my mom would say) How many pictures did I take of these dang clothespins???


Find the child that is not napping and put a water bottle in his hot little hands.


Walk away again and let them dry.

Read a book. Pet the cat. Go camping. Why not?


Now, that's pretty.


That's real, real pretty.

Once dry, take them down and pile them in a drawer somewhere. You might or might not forget about them for the next several weeks. It's okay, Mama Mia. You've got bigger fish to fry.


Some days/weeks later, you might be getting groceries with all of your children and your oldest might drop his sucker on the floor just before you roll over it with the shopping cart. He might feel a little despondent. He might believe that the whole world desires to separate him from his Cream Soda Dum Dum. And then? Your kind-hearted daughter will pop her own sucker out of her mouth and hand it to him. You will beam with pride. You will be humbled by her generous spirit. You will remember the stash of coffee filter banners waiting in a drawer somewhere back home.


When you get home, string up some twine, write it down, and staple that puppy UP.


Rinse.


Repeat.


String up the unexpected kindnesses of your babies and watch them catch the light.

And then? More salsa, of course.