Embracing the Imperfect

When we moved into our house a little over a year ago the toilet paper holder mounted on the drywall in one of the bathrooms was loose. Over time, it was clear we had to fix this imperfection.

Jan had to dismantle it completely and move it over a little onto an undamaged area of the wall and remount it properly. The toilet paper holder is sturdy once more.

There’s only one problem.

We have a gaping eyesore on our wall.

Ultimately, his plan was to repair the dry wall, sand it, and repaint it like a proper fix-it-man. But since I’d rather him spend time on the weekends doing important things with the family, like laying on the couch while the kids put on “shows” for us or adventuring around town somewhere, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Cue the artists.

I mean the children and the wacko alternative-thinking mother.

Always looking for teachable moments, I called the two of them into the bathroom where we played school. As the teacher, I sat upon the porcelain throne and gave them a speech on embracing the imperfect.

In kid-speak I explained to them that nothing  and no one is perfect. That rather we are all flawed and that it is normal and okay.

Turning to the wall, I pointed out the imperfection. As their big-eyes locked on me, given I had just revealed a Sharpie and two Crayola markers, they listened intently as I told them we were going to help the wall feel special regardless of its imperfections.

I told them we shouldn’t hide our imperfections. Instead we should celebrate them, which is why I was giving us all permission to decorate the flaw in the wall as a visual reminder that not everything is perfect. In fact, the imperfect is beautiful and what makes us all unique.

Showing them I was serious, I went first by adding some verbiage. They know writing is my art and seemed pleased. Without being prompted Lance went next and added a green smiley face. I couldn’t have thought of anything more appropriate. Vivian followed suit and added some purple designs.


Then I told the kids that under no circumstance are they ever to color on the wall again.

Ha! That mixed message outta teach ’em!

Nonetheless, as the metaphorical school bell rang, we had clear evidence that embracing the imperfect is the best fix-it repair job. The wall screamed, Kids live here and we aren’t perfect, but we like it that way!

I am not sure bringing the wall to life and coloring on it is effective yet, but I look forward to continuing the conversation about why we did it throughout the years. I am sure the wall will speak up when the time comes.

If nothing else, our artwork can provide guests with something interesting to look at as they take care of business on the throne. Maybe it can even spark a simple reminder within themselves to embrace the imperfect: the ultimate solution to so many problems.

About britta326

blogger, picture-taker, diaper-changer, runner

8 thoughts on “Embracing the Imperfect

  1. Love it! What an awesome life lesson. My kids still remember when we removed the wallpaper from the bathroom when they were little and I let them draw on the bare walls before we painted. No lesson that time, but we had a lot of fun. 🙂

    • That’s neat that they still remember it. Sounds like tons of fun and reminds me of doing something similar to a floor before my dad put in carpet. I haven’t thought about that in a long time! Thanks for jogging a memory.

  2. Haha! I love it. I wrote a post about “imperfect design” in a home — in my case it was about a tacky ashtray, but no matter — I think we all need something that speaks to our own lives and you won’t find in a magazine.

    • Speaks to our own lives… I like the way you put that. My kid’s artwork definitely does that… and I am pretty certain it will never be in a magazine! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. I can imagine both of your kids thinking they had the best mom ever in that moment, letting them color on the wall. 🙂 And embracing imperfection is such an easy thing to say but hard thing to do so I’m glad to see you taking advantage of a moment like this to do so AND teach your kids at the same time.

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