Last week, eldest announced that she wanted to be “Thing 1” for her school’s Dr. Seuss birthday celebration on March 2. As this was my big opportunity to make the day special, I threw myself into the task. I went to multiple stores and learned red is not a popular color this time of year. (I did, of course, come home with four bags full of merchandise, none of which pertained to Thing 1. Whoops!)

The morning before the day, I ran to Hobby Lobby and squeezed some creativity out of my weary brain. I bought bright blue feather boas, blue yarn, a white handkerchief, and black iron-on letters. All day I worked on that costume. I even sewed the boas to a knit hat to be Thing 1’s hair.

I learned several other things that day. One of which was don’t sew circles around a knitted hat’s brim with a fabric that doesn’t stretch. Perhaps Barbie could have worn Thing 1’s hair, but not a human.

I also learned that perseverance pays off. When I finally finished my masterpiece, I felt so proud. I couldn’t wait to see her in it. Eldest did grin when she saw the shirt and hat, but right after that she announced there was no way she’d wear that hat in public. I wanted to cry. I’d given up my whole day for this? My fingers ached from sewing stuff by hand, and my pride hurt.

My final lesson of the evening was that I needed to let my irritation go. It’s not about me. (How many times do I have to I learn that one?) Wasn’t it the thought — and pictures — that counted? So, she didn’t wear the hat to the school’s parade. Yes, I was sad when she told me that, but I didn’t get to see the parade anyway. What did it matter?

What did matter was that I gave her a gift of love, and even though she didn’t wear it, she will have the memory that her mother went all out for her. And isn’t that what counts?