And so it was with this (ridiculously belated) birthday gift for my eldest. See, at my house, I have a stash of pre-printed wrapping papers, carefully purchased and cautiously tucked away for all my gift-wrapping needs.
But you know what? When I looked at those papers today, cute and colorful though they were, I was bored silly. None of them seemed special enough for this gift; none of them brought much spunk or sass to the table. They all just felt wrong.
Here's what happened next.
Sensing my distress, my youngest stepped in and solved my dilemma by wrapping the gift in a brown paper shopping bag. With the printing on the inside, of course.
A solid first step.
Then, I grabbed a bottle of acrylic paints and a brush, and simply started to paint on the paper.
No planned color scheme,
No forethought to the design.
No desire to make it perfect.
I just went with the flow, and kept at it until I felt done.
What a completely spontaneous and remarkably freeing experience.
Later that evening, I presented my first-born with her gift. She tore right into it, like a good birthday girl should, and squealed with delight over the goodies inside. Of course, the gift wrap was quickly cast aside, lost in the excitement of her new treasure.
But for me, the gift wrap was the gift, and it taught me a lesson that I won't soon forget.