Store-Bought Popsicles for My Son’s Birthday: A story of letting go of perfection

My eldest son turned 7 this past Monday and so there was a birthday celebration for him at school. Last year I brought in watermelon “pizza” topped with fresh fruit and shredded coconut, it was beautiful and the kids loved it. This past week, however, was very hectic including weekend travel, a car that died, and house guests and I just did not have time to make something special from scratch, so I brought in store-bought popsicles and I don’t feel guilty about it.

To be totally honest, I did struggle with the decision for a while. Was there a way to buy fresh fruit on the way home from being out of town on Sunday evening so that I could stay up late that night to put something together while I also did laundry, spent time with our guests, and got ready for the week? Luckily, as I was trying to strategize a way to make it all happen a little voice inside my head spoke up and said, “Jessica, you are taking on too much and are going to make yourself crazy!” And that was when I realized that I needed to simplify. So I bought popsicles.

The whole process was a really good reminder, though, that sometimes we do get entrenched in the mindset of trying to make everything perfect when really that serves no one. We get wrapped up in the right foods and the wrong foods, the tidy house, and making sure that everything is just so, when really what we need to do is let go a little bit.

It seems to me that instead of trying to have the goal be to get everything just right, it should be to have things be good enough. Do my kids mostly eat healthy foods? Am I usually getting the exercise I need to stay happy and healthy? Is the house more or less tidy? If so, then a store-bought popsicle now and again is nothing to freak out about. A morning of catching up on sleep instead of fitting a workout in is great. A few (or many) piles of paper to go through is ok and will get taken care of someday.

So, yes, I bought my son’s class some popsicles, but we also had a wonderful family birthday party that evening with everything made from scratch, and that is good enough for me.

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